Posts tagged ‘straw man’

February 3rd, 2012


One of my earliest heroes (somewhere between Han Solo and Charlie Kaufman) was Socrates, who — although perhaps unfit to make the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs — elevated dialectic into the realm of epistemology, where it remained an inviolate pillar of Western logic until the emergence of Larry King, apparently sometime in the late 14th century.

May 4th, 2010

Process and Creativity

One of my favorite paralogisms (and, sadly, I have several) is the fallacy of false opposites, more popularly known by such variants as the straw man argument or the fallacy of false alternatives. I like it because it’s a quick way of getting a conversation to us-versus-them, at which point any need for supporting argument goes swiftly out the window. What’s a Republican? Someone who doesn’t believe in unions, graduated tax or socialized healthcare. What’s a Democrat? One who doesn’t keep a loaded Glock beneath the pillow to defend home and hearth against early parolees and illegal immigrants. See how it works? It’s so easy, it ought to be illegal. (Republican again.)