Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monty Python Midterm Report (Section 14)

“She’s a Witch!” Philosophical Breakdown


This video presents a logical fallacy in a humorous and exaggerated way, but also in a way that makes the nature of a logical fallacy clear to the audience. The basic equation of this particular fallacy is: if x is the same as y, and y is the same as z, then x must be the same as z. This makes sense logically, but there are issues with it on a realistic, factual basis.

 Here’s the breakdown:
-If you happen upon a witch, you burn it.
-If you happen upon some wood, you burn it.
-Wood floats in water.
-Ducks also float in water.
-Therefore, if a woman weighs the same as a duck, the woman is made of wood, and consequently should be burned, just as wood should be burned.

Aristotle dabbled in logical fallacies, amongst other things. He identified 13 fallacies in his book, Sophistical Refutations, including ‘false cause’ (ex. It is dark out now, which means it is dangerous, even though it is not the darkness that makes it dangerous) and ‘affirming the consequent’ (which is a lot like the fallacy in the skit)…(ex. If you are cheating on me, then you will be out of the house a lot. You are out of the house a lot, therefore you must be cheating on me.)

If witches (x) and wood (y) burn, and wood (y) and ducks (z) float, then witches (x) must be the same (at least in weight) to a duck (z), and therefore has the same floatation properties as wood (y), and therefore, must be burned.

-By Josiah Estabrooks

1 comment:

  1. Good!

    And here's the "football" link, if anybody want it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5fGSBsfq8&feature=related (You can also find it in the video links section at the bottom of this page.)