QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Television has caused even some legal professionals to lose their ability to distinguish fiction from reality.
REASONING: The lawyer said that when Raymond Burr died it was as if a lawyer had died, even though Mr. Burr only played a lawyer on TV.
ANALYSIS: It’s pretty clear that the lawyer wasn’t hallucinating. He was just praising the skill with which Mr. Burr played his role as a lawyer on television.
The lawyer doesn’t think that Burr actually was a lawyer. He even says “Although not a lawyer.”
- The argument didn’t generalize. It just said “even some lawyers.” Some can mean just one.
- It would have been perfectly appropriate to criticize the lawyer if he had said something stupid.
- The main point of the criticism was that the person making the argument thought the lawyer had gone insane and imagined that a TV lawyer was real. You don’t need to be able to evaluate an actor’s skill in order to be insane.
- The argument focuses on the prominent lawyer, not the actor who played a lawyer.
- CORRECT. The argument willfully ignores the part of the lawyer’s statement that says “Although not a lawyer.”
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