Logical fallacies and invasion biology

Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):34 (2018)
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Leading invasion biologists sometimes dismiss critics and criticisms of their field by invoking “the straw man” fallacy. Critics of invasion biology are also labelled as a small group of “naysayers” or “contrarians”, who are sometimes engaging in “science denialism”. Such unfortunate labels can be seen as a way to possibly suppress legitimate debates and dismiss or minimize reasonable concerns about some aspects of invasion biology, including the uncertainties about the geographic origins and complex environmental impacts of species, and the control programs against species perceived as “invasive”. In assessing the quality of the debate in this area, we examine the validity of the use of various strategies, including the “straw man” concept, and explore a range of potential logical fallacies present in some recent prominent discussions about invasion biology and so-called “invasive” species. The goal is to add some clarity to the concepts involved, point out some problematic issues, and improve the quality of the debates as the discussions move forward.



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Christopher Tindale
University of Windsor

References found in this work

Fallacies.Charles Leonard Hamblin - 1970 - Newport News, Va.: Vale Press.
Fallacies.C. L. Hamblin - 1970 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 160:492-492.
A Pragmatic Theory of Fallacy.Douglas Walton - 2003 - University Alabama Press.
Fallacies and Argument Appraisal.Christopher W. Tindale - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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