poisoning the well fallacy katie emmitt

Poisoning the Well Fallacy
By : Katie Emmitt, Corey Faller, Chelsee Wooten
What is poisoning the well?
A sort of "reasoning" that try's to discredit what a person might later claim
by presenting unwanted information whether it be legit information or
made up about the person.
Simply: A type of fallacy in which a person attempts to place an opponent in a
position from which he/she is unable to reply .
Universal examples
I wish it were possible for men to get really emotionally involved in this
question [abortion]. It is really impossible for the man, for whom it is
impossible to be in this situation, to really see it from the woman's point of
view. That is why I am concerned that there are not more women in this
House available to speak about this from the woman's point of view.
Source: House of Commons Debates of Canada, Volume 2, November 30, 1979,
p. 1920
Universal Example Continued..
Tom says, "Don't listen to Jim, he's a scoundrel.“
Tom has created a false preconception that everything Jim say’s
is incorrect or that he is untrustworthy.
Source: "Fallacy: Poisoning the Well." Fallacy: Poisoning the
Well. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
Examples from the Crucible
Act:2 Pg.198
Act:2 Pg.199
Hale: Good, then. In the book of
Hale: How comes it that only two
(sons) are baptized.
record that
Mr. Parris Keeps, I note that you are
rarely in the church on Sabbath
Proctor: No, Sir, you are mistaken
Hale: Twenty-six time in seventeen
month, sir.
I must call that rare. Will you tell me
why you are so absent?
Proctor: I like it not that Mr. Parris
Should lay his hand upon my baby.
I see no light of God in that man. I
will not conceal it.
Examples continued . . . .
Act:3 Pg. 208
Act: 3 Pg.211
Cheever: He plow on Sunday, sir.
Danforth: Who is this man?
Parris: Giles Corey, sir and a
more contentious-
Danforth: plow on Sunday!
Cheever: I think it be evidence, John. I am an
official of the court, I cannot keep it.
Proctor: I-I have once or twice plowed on
Sunday. I have three children, sir, and until last
year my land gave very little.
Giles: You will find other Christians that do plow
on Sunday if the truth do be known.
• http://bookmarkblogs.com/_data/userpics/bi
• http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/pois
• http://www.fallacyfiles.org/poiswell.html

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