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Strawman

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Strawman

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

You have a several arguments for your case. I disprove one of those arguments, therefore the whole case is false.

Rather than attack the strongest argument, go for a weak one that is easier to attack.

Seek to change their real position to that where you can attack it.

Example

Astrology may be unproven, but neither has it been proved to be false.

You said the common man is important, so show me this 'common man'.

You want to spend less on education. Do you really want to cripple this country's future?

Discussion

By picking on a weak part of the argument and making a big deal of it, attention is distracted from the stronger reasons that should be the main part of the discussion.

The basic assumption is that if one small part of an argument can be proved false then, by association, the whole argument is also false.

A weak argument is one made of straw that is easily knocked over. Hence the name 'strawman'.

Classification

Attack, Distraction

See also

Association principle

 

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