Fallacies in Philosophy: A Case Study

In articles, a fallacy is a false statement, concept, or argument caused by incorrect beliefs/reasoning, invalid inference, or the quality of deception. When detecting a fallacy, they are defects that weaken an argument; an argument can be evaluated as weak or very weak. Because fallacies are all around us, they are a part of our everyday lives. Politicians and media outlets such as television, radio, and newspapers, on the other hand, are the most likely to use them. The fallacy of insufficient evidence and the fallacy of relevance are two examples of broad groups of fallacies. There are a variety of other fallacies, such as appealing to ignorance, appealing to popular opinion, and so on. In this paper, I have given an example of an article with fallacy, and an argument why the fallacy is wrong.

Summary of Frank Breslin Argument

According to Frank Breslin in his article “Getting used to thinking for oneself,” he argues that students should be taught how to think and not what to think. He explains that student can be taught to think by themselves without any help from their teacher. He believes that continuous thinking by oneself helps the student to get accustomed to the uncertainty of acting and behaving like an adult. He further goes ahead and explains how a student can be taught to think by their own. The first step involves giving the student a freedom of speech. The student is allowed to say whatever in is in their mind. In this section, teachers not allowed to discriminate anything a student says because he believes they are no right or wrong answer. He believes that the truth can defend itself. Argues that through this, the student can learn to think on their own rather than to be spoon –fed.

Identification of Frank Breslin’s Fallacy

In this article, the fallacy is “teaching someone how to think.” According to the author, he believes that people can be taught how to think for themselves. In my opinion, I don’t think that this is true but rather a self- opinionated article. Firstly, the author does not provide any evidence, theory or research that shows this has been done before. He has also not done it so he can barely prove that human being can be taught how to think.

Analysis of the Fallacy

According to research in cognitive sciences, thinking is the process of actively using the mind to understand and judge thing. The process used during thinking is highly connected with the content of thought (Deacon, 2017). Therefore, thinking is an inborn process that cannot be taught like other skills. The process of thinking thinly associated with the level of intelligence (Intelligence Quotient) which is also inborn and cannot be improved (Fleischmann et al., 2014).

Additionally, it is more logical to say that Thinking can be re-kindled given real environment rather than say it can be taught. According to research, all children are naturally born able to think own on their own. This earns that everybody was born creative whoever, most children lose the ability to think on their own as they grow up (Deacon, 2017). It is therefore sensible to say that thinking can be re-kindled/ unleashed when an individual is put in the right environment.

In the article, the author argues that letting student think on their own, speaking out their mind and defending their answer to be right help them gain experience and thus become acquainted on their own. In my opinion, it is wrong to state that the process of thinking about oneself can be learned through experience. According to research the ability to quickly condense distinct memories and experiences into original ideas is highly linked with the processing speed of the brain. It is obvious that brain processing speed of an individual has no any connection with one’s experience (Wollerscheem & Sporrle, 2016). Therefore his argument on gaining experience as a sure method of learning to think for oneself is very wrong.


In conclusion, the statement “Student can be taught to think on their own” is a fallacy because you cannot teach a person how to think. Firstly, no theory or research has proved thinking can be taught. However, most research conquers with the statement that thinking is inborn. Secondly, thinking is a process, not a skill. It is also more logical to say that thinking can be re-kindled rather than taught. Finally, thinking is highly connected to brain-processing speed hence it is wrong to say that you can learn how to think through experience.


Fleischmann, A., Schmidt, W., Stary, C., Obermeier, S., & Brger, E. (2014). Subject-oriented business process management. Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated.

Deacon, T. W. (2017). The emergent process of thinking as reflected in language processing1. Thinking thinking: Practicing radical reflection, 5, 136.

Wollersheim, J., Leyer, M., & Spörrle, M. (2016). When more is not better: The effect of the number of learning interventions on the acquisition of process-oriented thinking. Management Learning, 47(2), 137-157.

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