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Argument by Authority Essay

The first part which presents an argument by authority is the opening – “According to repeated nationwide surveys, more Doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette! ” Though it does not directly relate the authority of the doctors in cigarette smoking, it is suggesting that even doctors, who are supposed to be health conscious, are smoking, thus creating an illusion that cigarette smoking is not bad for the health. The second part is the expression “The doctor’s choice is America’s choice! ” The first point may be less reliable than the second because it is just a survey and does not require much expertise as doctors.

The second is more reliable although it suffers from the fallacy of argument by authority. The first statement is an appeal to anonymous authority type of argument (claiming that an argument is valid based on an opinion of an anonymous and not necessarily an expert) while the second suggests that it is a general argument from authority fallacy (claiming that the argument is valid because the opinion presented is from an expert). By stating that the doctor’s choice is America’s choice, the speaker is claiming that whatever the doctors smoke is what America smokes.

It may also be categorized as hasty generalization, but what it actually does is persuade Americans to smoke Camel because doctors, as it were, are smoking Camels.

References

Alouette. (2007, July 26). Amusing old fashioned advertisements, cigarette ads [image]. Unsought Input. Retrieved March 3, 2009 from http://www. unsoughtinput. com/index. php/2007/06/26/amusing-old-fashioned-advertisements-cigarette-ads/ Lindsay, D. (Ed. ). (2009, January 5). A List of Fallacious Arguments. Retrieved March 3, 2009 from http://www. don-lindsay-archive. org/skeptic/arguments. html#expert

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