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In short, it seems that from the empirical observability for us of an ensemble to its historical acceptability, to the very period of time in which it is actually observable, the analysis goes by way of the knowledge-power nexus, supporting it, recouping it at the point where it is accepted, moving toward what makes it acceptable, of course, not in general, but only where it is accepted. This is what can be characterized as recouping it in its positivity. Here, then, is a type of procedure, which, unconcerned with legitimizing and consequently excluding the fundamental point of view of the law, runs through the cycle of positivity by proceeding from the fact of acceptance to the system of acceptability analyzed through the knowledge-power interplay. Let us say that this is, approximately, the archaeological level [of analysis]. [6]

Person L proffers claim c .
Person L has qualities in common with disreputable (or reputable, if by honor) group G . Person L 's character is disreputable (or reputable, if by honor) or claim c is implausible (or plausible, if by honor).

  1. Many instances of this fallacy are instances of what Stuart Chase has termed “guilt-by-verbal-association,” and not physical association. These examples are clearly imparted as examples of the syllogistic formal fallacy of the undistributed middle term . Chase formalizes an example which was used by the real estate lobby during the McCarthy era in the .: Communists are in favor of government housing.
    Sen. Taft is in favor of government housing.
    Therefore Sen. Taft is a Communist. As Chase points out, “It is the standard bludgeon of what we now call ‘McCarthyism.” [34-1]

  2. And here's a more recent example of what might be called guilt-by-physical-association: “[Rep. Michele] Bachmann has raised questions about Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American, who is deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Bachmann's concern is Abedin's relatives in the Middle East some of whom — such as Abedin's mother — she claims ‘are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.’ Abedin's job, according to Bachmann, ‘affords her routine access to the secretary and to policy making.’ And, as a result of that access, says Bachmann, ‘the State Department, and in several cases, the specific direction of the secretary of state, have taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests.’” [35]
  • The genetic fallacy can converge with the ad hominem circumstantial and abusive fallacies, but not all variations involve personal attacks. The genetic fallacy is an irrelevant attempt to refute or establish a claim or argument on the basis of its origin or history. The mistake in reasoning occurs because the historical temporal or causal origins of a viewpoint is confused with its logical or justifiable merit. [36] In examples of the genetic fallacy the discourse of a historical account is different from the discourse of an analytical account. Some logicians maintain that ad hominem arguments involve single person and group sources whereas genetic arguments involve only group or circumstantial sources — other logicians do not make this distinction.

    Informal Structure of Genetic Fallacy
    Standpoints of a group or circumstance x are the historical source of conception or claim y .

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