Commonplace Book – Pages 98-99
I don’t think a review is needed for this one, because I think everyone knows how amazing this book is. It is one of my favorites, and the character Dorian Gray is second only to my love of Hamlet. And I adore Oscar Wilde, both as a person and a writer, and he may be the only one who can write true “aesthetic” and make it sound beautiful rather than cliche:
How exquisite they were! As one read them, one seemed to be floating down the green water-ways of the pink and pearl city, seated in a black gondola with silver prow and trailing curtains…The sudden flashes of color reminded him of the gleam of the opal-and-iris throated birds that flutter round the tall honey-combed Campanile…
Noted examples of:
Aphorism: A succinct statement expressing an opinion or general truth (often in Lord Henry’s dialogue)
Philanthropy: A desire to improve the material, social, and spiritual welfare of humanity
Philistine: A materialistic person who is indifferent to artistic and intellectual achievements and values (Lord Henry and Dorian Gray)
Misanthropy: A desire to hate humankind in general, or to dislike and distrust other people and tend to avoid their company (Dorian Gray)
“Devil’s Bargain”: The nickname of Dorian Gray give by the public for his corruption and deeds
“Piaresque Novel”: A plotless novel
Dalmatic: The wide-sleeved garment worn over the alb by a deacon, cardinal, bishop or abbot during Mass.
Sojourn: A temporary stay; a brief period of residence
Antinomianism: The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil or moral, and that salvation is obtained solely through faith or gift of divine grace.
Champak: A southern Asian tree, Michelia champaca, of the magnolia family, having fragrant yellow or orange flowers and yielding an oil used in perfumes.
Spikenard: An aromatic perennial herb of the Himalaya Mountains, having rose-purple flowers. Also called ‘nard’; An ointment of antiquity prepared from this plant
Hovenia: A small genus of deciduous trees or shrubs in the family Rhamnaceae. They occur naturally from India to Japan.
Caryatid: A sculpted female figure used as a column
Black-ball: to vote against; to exclude socially; to reject
Alembic: A vessel with a beaked cap or head, formerly used in distilling; anything that transforms, purifies or refines
And mind you don’t talk about anything serious. Nothing is serious nowadays. At least, nothing should be. – Dorian Gray
I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else. – Dorian Gray
I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don’t interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty. – Dorian Gray
Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed. People talk of secret vices. There are no such things a secret vices. – Basil Hallward
I keep a diary of my life from day to day, and it never leaves the room in which it is written. – Dorian Gray
But youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms. – Lord Henry Wotton
Poor Basil! What a horrible way for a man to die! – Dorian Gray
The dead linger sometimes. – Dorian Gray
Do you think this girl will ever be really contented now with any one of her own rank? I suppose she will be married some day to a rough carter or a grinning ploughman. Well, having met you, and loved you, will teach her to despise her husband, and she will be wretched. Besides, how do you know that Hetty isn’t floating at the present moment in some mill-pond, with water-lilies round her, like Ophelia? – Lord Henry Wotton
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respected. – Lord Henry Wotton
It has been a charming evening, and we must end it charmingly. – Dorian Gray
You and I are what we are, and will be what we will be. - Dorian Gray
Commonplace Book – Pages 95-96
Bad Company Fallacy: Guilt by Association is the attempt to discredit an idea based upon disfavoured people or groups associated with it. This is the reverse of an ‘Appeal to Authority,’ and might be justly called ‘Appeal to Anti-Authority.’ An argument to authority argues in favor of an idea based upon associating an authority figure with the idea, whereas Guilt by Association argues against an idea based upon associating it with disruptive people or groups.
Bad Reasons Fallacy: This fallacy consists in arguing that a conclusion is false because an argument given for it is bad. It is most likely to occur in the course of a debate, when one side argues badly for the truth of the preposition, and the other side uses the bad argument as a reason to conclude that the proposition is false.
The Base Rate Fallacy: People who have only generic information tend to use it to judge probabilities, which is the rational thing to do since that’s all they have to go by. In contrast, when people have both types of information, they tend to make judgments of probability based entirely from specific information, leaving out the ‘base rate’ or ‘type I’ information. This is the fallacy.
Biased Sample: A fallacy affecting statistical inferences. Since the strength of statistical inferences depend upon the similarity of the sample of population, they are really a species of argument from analogy, and the strength of the inference varies directly with the strength of the analogy. Thus, a inference will commit this fallacy of the similarity is too weak. Two ways: a) the sample is too small to represent population = subfallacy of Hasty Generalization b) the sample is biased in some way as a result of not having been chosen randomly.
Black or White Fallacy: A validating form of argument. Usually, the truth-value of premises is not a question of logic, or common sense. So, while an argument with a false premise is unsound, it’s usually not considered fallacious. However, when a disjunctive premise is false for specifically logical reasons, or when the support for it is based upon a fallacy, then the argument commits this fallacy.
Card-Stacking: A one-sided case presents only evidence favoring its conclusion, and ignores or downplays the evidence against it. In inductive reasoning, it is important to consider all of the available evidence before coming to a conclusion. However, a defense attorney may present one-sided argument for defense and likewise a prosecutor will present biased evidence for conviction; but together they create a non-one-sided argument.
Fallacy of the Consequent: “If P then Q. Therefore, if Q then P.” One of Aristotle’s 13 fallacies. People commit this fallacy because they think the consequence is convertible. Also, when people base opinions just by sense-perception as Aristotle put it: ‘people think honey is bile, because honey is also yellow.’
Complex Question: ‘Plurium Interrogationum‘ A question with a false, disputed, or question-begging presupposition. For example the question, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’ presupposes that you have beaten your wife prior to the asking, as will as that you have a wife. If you are unmarried or have never beaten your wife, then the question is loaded.
Composition: Some properties are such that, if every part of a whole has the property, then the whole till too. However, not all properties are like this, for example atoms. All visible objects are made of atoms, which are too small to see. If P is an expansive property, then the argument form above is validating, but definitions of what such a property is. However, if P is not expansive, then the argument is non-validating, and any argument of that form commits this fallacy.
The Conjunction Fallacy: The probability of a conjunction is never greater than the probability of its conjuncts. In other words, the probability of two things being true can never be greater than the probability of one of them being true, since in order for both to be true, each must be true.
Converse Accident: This is a fallacy of generalizing about a population based upon a sample which is too small to be representative. If the population is heterogeneous, then the sample needs to be large enough to represent the population’s variability. With a completely homogeneous population, a sample of one is sufficiently large, so it’s impossible to put an absolute lower limit on sample size. Rather, sample size depends directly upon the variability of the population: the more heterogeneous a population, the large the sample required.
Commonplace Book – Pages 89-91 – 93-95
Fallacy of Accent: A written word could be ambiguous in a way that depended on how it was accented in speech. That is, some words are homographs but not homophones. Example: ‘resent’
Fallacy of Accident: a.k.a. ‘A dicto simplicitor ad dictum secundum quid‘ – Occurs when one either attempts to apply such a rule of thumb to an obviously abnormal instance, or when one treats the rule itself as if it were an exceptionless universal generalization, rather than a defensible rule of thumb.
Affirming the Consequent: Arguments of this form are invalid. Informally, it means that arguments of this form do not give good reason to establish their conclusions, even if their premises are true. Example: ‘If P, then Q. Q. therefore, P.’
Affirmative Conclusion from a Negative Premise: Any form of categorical syllogism with an affirmative conclusion and at least one negative premise. Example: ‘All judges are politicians. Some lawyers are not judges. Therefore, some lawyers are politicians.’
Affirming a Disjunct: A non-validating form of argument when ‘or’ is inclusive, as it is standardly interpreted in prepositional logic. But in order to accuse an argument of committing this fallacy, we must determine in which sense the ‘or’ in the first premise is used.
Ambiguity: A a feature of language, ambiguity occurs when a word or phrase has more than one meaning. As a logical fallacy, Ambiguity occurs when linguistic ambiguity causes the form of an argument to appear validating when it is not.
Ambiguous Middle: Any valid form of categorical syllogism with an ambiguous middle term. A categorical syllogism is an argument with three categorical terms occurring within it. ‘Term’ is to be understood in a semantic sense, so that a single word may ambiguously stand for two terms. This leads to the possibility of ambiguous syllogisms in which one of the words equivocates on two terms.
Amphiboly: Linguistically, an amphiboly is an ambiguity which results from ambiguous grammar, as opposed to one that results from the ambiguity of words or phrases. The fallacy of Amphiboly occurs when a bad argument trades upon grammatical ambiguity to create an illusion of cogency. Example: ‘The panda eats, shoots, and leaves.’
The Anecdotal Fallacy: The Availability Heuristic. ‘The easier it is to remember a type of event, the more likely it is that an event of that type will occur.’ However this leads to fallacies as unusual events do happen. The fallacy is using a recent memory, unusual event or a striking anecdote to lead one to overestimate the probability of events of that type occurring.
Argument by Consensus: ‘Argumentum ad Populum‘ – ‘Idea A is popular, therefore idea A is correct.’ It is committed whenever one argues for an idea based on an irrelevant appeal to its popularity.
Appeal to Misleading Authority: ‘Argumentum ad Verecundiam‘ – We often rely upon expert opinion when drawing conclusions about technical matters where we lack the time or expertise to form an informed opinion. Experts are human beings, after all, and human beings err. This is why on major matters, you should get a second or even third opinion.
Appeal to Celebrity: Since most celebrities are actors or sports stars, they are seldom experts on the products or causes that they endorse. Another problem is that most celebrities who endorse products are paid to do so, and thus the endorsement is not a disinterested one.
Appeal to Consequences: ‘Argumentum ad Consequentum‘ – Arguing that a proposition is true because belief in it has good consequences, or that it is false because belief in it has bad consequences is often an irrelevancy. One can tell that the fallacy is being committed because the consequences do not follow from the proposition itself, but only from belief in it. Example: A child’s belief in Santa may have good consequences, but this has nothing to do with whether there really is a Santa.
Appeal to Force: ‘Argumentum ad Baculum‘ – As a logical fallacy, it applies to the use of force and, by extension, the use of threats of force to ‘win’ a debate. Attempts to change people’s minds by threats are appeals to consequences, since the bad consequences appealed to are not consequences of what is believed, but of the belief itself. Also force used to suppress the arguments of one side in a debate, that is a type of -one-sidedness.
Appeal to Ignorance: ‘Argumentum ad Ignorantiam‘ – ‘There is no evidence against P. Therefore, P.’ An appeal to ignorance is an argument for or against a proposition on the basis of a lack of evidence against or fot it. If there is positive evidence for the conclusion, then of course we have other reasons for accepting it, but a lack of evidence by itself is no evidence.
Appeal to Nature: ‘Argumentum ad Naturam‘ – The problem is that the concept of nature is vague. The vagueness of the notion of naturalness does not mean that it is useless, since there are many clearcut cases of the natural and unnatural. However, an appeal to nature which is based on a borderline case will be unsound because it will be unclear whether its premise is true or false. Sometimes, people associate ‘natural’ with ‘good’ and this is a fallacy. To treat the rule of thumb as if it were an exceptionless generalization is to commit a fallacy.
Argument Against the Man: ‘Argumentum ad Hominem‘ – A debater commits this fallacy when he/she introduces irrelevant personal premises about his opponent. Such attacks may successfully distract the opponent or audience from the topic of the debate.
Argument of the Beard: This is based upon the claim that a controversial type of action will lead inevitably to some bad type of action. The argument is by no means fallacious, but the strength of the argument is inversely proportional to the number of steps between A and Z, and directly proportional to the causal strength of the connections between adjacent steps. If there are many intervening steps, and the causal connections between them are weak or unknown, then the resulting argument will be weak or fallacious.