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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dramafied Jain Fallacies in Argument

Like Aristotle, the Jains recognize fallacies in thinking (abhasas) because each point of view (naya) can also be misinterpreted or misconstrued. Each abhasa relates to a specific naya. Many abhasas overlap with Aristolian fallacies and are best avoided for effective thinking, arguing and writing.

NAIGAMBHASA is a fallacy of the Naigama naya (Popular Point of View). This Jain fallacy combines the Aristolian fallacies of composition and division. Just as generalizations can be misleading, emphasizing specifics can ignore the larger context.

SANGRAHABHASA is a fallacy of Sangraha naya (General Point of View). Not only do the deliberate generalizations of this fallacy miss the point, they can make the specifics generic. Arguments are ineffective when they ignore specific exceptions. 

VYAVAHARABHASA is a fallacy of the Vyavahara naya (External Point of View). A strictly empirical understanding does not include the practical. Ideologies are great, but they can ignore the realities of employing those ideologies.

RIJUSUTRABHASA is a fallacy of the Rjusutra naya (Straightforward Point of View). This Jain fallacy assumes that an argument is true throughout time. Any number of changes over time or space can prove and disprove an argument.

SABDABHASA is a fallacy of the Sabda naya (Literal Point of View). The meaning of words and phrases can change due to context. Idioms are rarely literal, but when taken literally, the meaning changes.

SAMABHIRUDABHASA is the fallacy of the Samabhiruda naya (Etymological Point of View). When even the smallest the differences between synonyms is ignored, the meaning can change. The similar isn't always the same.

EVAMBHUTABHASA is the fallacy of the Evambhuta naya (Actualized Point of View). This Jain fallacies that the original definition of a word is not absolute. The meaning of some words changes over time, especially with slang.

When it comes to arguments, fallacies suck. They demonstrate a need to win rather than be correct.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dramafied Jain Logic

Within the complexity of Jainism lies a non-Western form of logic. This form of logic predates Aristotle and recognizes that ultimate truth is out of the reach of human thought and is unknowable. Aristotle's western logic focuses on what is true or false. Jain logic recognizes that perception conditions reality.  The nayas describe differing points of view, recognizing that.

The Naigama naya takes a Popular Point of View by making no separation between specific and general qualities.

The Sangraha naya takes a General Point of View by deliberately focusing on general qualities.

The Vyavahara naya takes a External Point of View by asserting the empirical at the cost of universal, giving importance to the practical.

The Rjusutra naya takes a Straightforward Point of View by understands qualities based on the here and now and not as a continuum.

The Sabda naya takes a Literal Point of View by focusing on the meaning of words which can change due to tense, gender and other conditions.

The Samabhirudha naya takes a Etymological Point of View by noting the etymological distinctions between synonyms.

The Evambhuta naya takes an Actualized Point of View by restricting the meaning of words to the current context.

The differing points of view of the nayas promote expansive thinking and meaning. They can overlap or even contradict one another and still remain valid - until they're not. The next installment will focus on abhasas (fallacies of thought).

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Dramafied Fallacies of Argument

If you have spent any time online (or in real life) debating you have likely come up against fallacious arguments. Fallacies appear logical but are actually an error in reasoning. Sometimes they are committed intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception. Other times they are committed unintentionally due to carelessness, ignorance or faulty language use.  

Recognizing fallacies in your own arguments and those of others is integral to critical thinking and writing effective essays. They are also fun to pick apart when presented as fact or supposed reasoned logic.

Currently, there are over 100 identifiable fallacies. In western thinking, Aristotle was the first to point out 13 fallacious arguments.

The reactive characters argue with fallacies. Owl comments on their arguments

FALSE CAUSE occurs when correlation or relationship also assumes cause and effect. Just because two things are related doesn't mean one caused the other. Correlation does not imply causation.

BEGGING THE QUESTION occurs when the conclusion of an argument is used as a premise of that same argument. Evidence is required to argue a claim. Circular arguments prove nothing.

occurs when a question presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted. Making up facts is easy - analyzing real facts is requires thinking. 

RED HERRING occurs when plausible arguments are presented but are irrelevant and diversionary. Red herrings do not exist and divert arguments.

AFFIRMING THE CONSEQUENT occurs when inferring that by disproving the opposition to an argument, the argument is proven. Two wrongs do not make a right.

IN CERTAIN RESPECT AND SIMPLY occurs when taking an attribute bound to a certain area and applying it to a wider domain. This form of generalizing does not an argument make.

ACCIDENT occurs when generalizations ignore mitigating circumstances or exceptions. The only true absolute is change.

COMPOSITION occurs when the truthfulness inferred by the parts is based on the features of the whole. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

DIVISION This occurs when the truthfulness inferred by the whole is based on the features of the parts. Inductive reasoning isn't always appropriate.

EQUIVOCATION occurs when words or phrases are given two different meanings within an argument. Misunderstanding the claim makes arguing impossible.

AMPHIBOLY occurs because of a misuse of grammar (or punctuation) that promotes multiple interpretations, especially in the claim itself. Syntax and punctuation matter.

ACCENT occurs when correlation or relationship also assumes cause and effect. Just because two things are related doesn't mean one caused the other. Correlation does not imply causation.

FIGURE OF SPEECH occurs when words or expressions similar in form are understood as similar in meaning. Idioms may not be your friend.

The deliberate use of fallacious arguments are popular in politics, advertising, the court room and other venues. Recognizing fallacious arguments help separate fact from opinion. (In the next installment, we will explore Jain fallacies that use a more eastern approach.)