Monday, November 24, 2014

Logical Fallacies in Everyday Media

It goes without saying that Americans watch a lot of tv. The average American watches five hours of tv each day, totaling to 1,825 hours of television each year. I have done the math and that totals to about 76 days, or almost 21%, of the year Americans spend sitting stagnant and watching television. In the United States there are approximately 8.5 minutes of network television per half hour, and almost 10 minutes on cable, but what are we really being told in those commercials?

I thought back to an Old Spice commercial from four years ago in which a man is placed into many different situations perceived as female fantasies, and he is there because he uses Old Spice body wash. Yes, that commercial is four years old, crazy, I know. The majority of  the commercial actually does a good job of not having any fallacies in logic, stating that one's man can smell like a man who does these things. It is not until the very end of the commercial where the seemingly calculated logic breaks down. The commercial delivers the crushing blow to it's own argument when the protagonist says "anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady" This is an example of a non sequitur argument in that the conclusion is no way connected to the condition given. Smelling like one particular body wash as opposed to another will no matter how assertively they tell you, not allow you to fly. Therefore, smelling like Old Spice as opposed to a lady will not make anything a possibility.

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