Author Archives: Scott Aikin

About Scott Aikin

Scott Aikin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

Oh, the analogy

A long while back, I noted that most discussions about gay marriage are more like races to who could pose one of the three tired old analogies first.  The three variables are: race, polygamy, and bestiality.  If you can pose … Continue reading

Posted in Weak Analogy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Persuasive explanations – Part 2

In more “They oppose us because of their dogmatism, we oppose them because of our principles” news, the Rutgers faculty opposition to Condoleeza Rice’s commencement address has been explained by Republican New Jersey assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (here): [It is] … Continue reading

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Persuasive explanation

Persuasive or rhetorical explanation is the non-argumentative strategy of increasing critical scrutiny on one side of an issue by way of explaining a disagreement or situation in terms of some failure on the other side.  So, for example, if we … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion | 5 Comments

How to turn your analogy to straw

Marco Rubio recently made an interesting analogy after the release of the CBO report.  He said that the likelihood of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) actually helping people is as great as the likelihood of the Denver Broncos coming back … Continue reading

Posted in Argument Analysis, hollow man, Specious allegations of fallacy, Straw Man, Weak Analogy | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t strawman me… I was strawmanning, myself

(Former) Governor Mike Huckabee has been criticized for the things he’s said about women and birth control.  Here’s the line folks are focusing on: They cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government The … Continue reading

Posted in hollow man, Iron man, Straw Man | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Talk Interview

Stephen Usery at Memphis’ WYPL interviewed me and Rob Talisse for Book Talk.  Stream the audio HERE. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on … Continue reading

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Fallacy Man

Existential Comics has a nice series on Fallacy Man, a guy dressed as Zoro who jumps into conversations to point out fallacies.  It’s a nice way to show the dialectical error of only pointing out fallacies – namely, that naming … Continue reading

Posted in Fallacies and Other Problems, General discussion, Informal Fallacies, Specious allegations of fallacy | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Why We Argue – On TV

Rob Talisse and I were on Nashville local TV promoting Why We Argue. Two in the last week. The link to the show “Inside Politics”:   HERE. And the link to the call in show, “Open Line”: HERE.   Bookmark on … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion | 2 Comments

Persecution anxiety

Bruce Chapman reports at AmSpec that Christians are widely persecuted around the world, and one of the prominent examples is the treatment of Coptic Christians in Egypt. Chapman says someone should do something about it.  That’s right.  Ah, but then … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Explanations, specious comparisons, Weak Analogy | 5 Comments

On Dialectical Fallacies

Talisse and I have a short piece on what constitutes a dialectical fallacy over at 3QuarksDaily. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion | 3 Comments