SHUT-UP & TEACH: Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab Squeezes in 8 Logical Fallacies into a Single Tweet.

Education Policy and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab Embarrasses the University of Wisconsin

Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab Embarrasses the University of Wisconsin

Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab embarrassed herself and her institution by way of her poor impulse control and her twitter account. In 140 characters or less, she was able to use no less than eight (8) logical fallacies as evidenced by the following:

“My grandfather, a psychologist”

15 authority(1) Logical fallacy: “Appeal to Authority”

An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form: Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S (psychology). Person A makes claim C about subject S. Therefore, C is true.

“…similarities between Walker and Hitler”

03 appeal to emotion(2) Logical fallacy: Appeal to Emotion

An Appeal to Emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy characterized by the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions in order to win an argument, especially in the absence of factual evidence


(3) Logical fallacy: Thought-Terminating Cliché

A commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance. they can be safely assumed that the term “Hitler” is often used as a drive-by insult by intellectually dishonest people, who don’t want to backup their allegations with substance.

06 ad hom(4) Logical fallacy: Ad Hominem

Short for argumentum ad hominem, it means responding to arguments by attacking the politician’s character, rather than his policies. When used inappropriately, it is a fallacy in which a claim or argument is dismissed on the basis of some irrelevant fact or supposition about the person being criticized.

“…similarities between Walker and Hitler. There are so many…”

16 composition(5) Logical fallacy: Fallacy of Composition

The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole. i.e. “Hitler had two leg, Walker has two legs, Walker is Hitler reincarnated”


texas-sharpshooter(6) Logical fallacy: Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

The Texas sharpshooter fallacy is an informal fallacy which is committed when differences in data are ignored, but similarities are stressed. “There are so many similarities!”

“…it’s terrifying”

03 appeal to emotion(7) Logical fallacy: Appeal to Emotion

(8) Logical fallacy: Thought-Terminating Cliché