Wilson, Douglas, and Nathan D. Wilson. The Rhetoric Companion: A Student's Guide to Power in Persuasion. Moscow, Idaho: Canon, 2011.
Lesson 15, “Fallacies on the Street II” pp. 75-77.
In this lesson Wilson deals with fallacies of ambiguity. “With fallacies of ambiguity the information is not so much irrelevant as it is fuzzy or confusing” (Wilson 2011, 75). These fallacies are more difficult to detect.
“The fallacy of equivocation occurs when one of the terms in the argument has more than one meaning” (Wilson 2011, 75). For instance, an argument may change from a generic use of “men” as “humans” to a specific use as “males” so as to exclude women.
“The fallacy of accent occurs when a sentence can have its meaning changed completely by simply italicizing different words in the sentence” (Wilson 2011, 75). For instance, one could deny reading an assignment but admit to having listened to it.
The “fallacy of selective arrangement” suggests a conclusion without stating it (Wilson 2011, 76). The classic example is, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”
“The fallacy of amphilogy is where a sentence taken as a whole is ambiguous” (Wilson 2011, 76).
“The fallacy of composition happens when someone thinks that whatever is true of the parts must be true of the whole” (Wilson 2011, 76).
“The fallacy of division . . . thinks that anything that is true of the whole must be true of the parts” (Wilson 2011, 76).