Fallacies In Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men

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Fallacies in 12 Angry Men 12 Angry Men- a 1957 film, rather a courtroom drama, is full of emotions represented in arguments and intellectual brainstorming. Directed by Sidney Lumet, the film is an example of intellectual art. The film is based the story of a 18-year old slum boy who was on trial for killing his father by stabbing him. The judges, after seeing all the evidences and witnesses, actually leave the decision to the jury, to decide whether the boy was guilty or not. Also, if the jury decides that the boy is guilty, he would have to face the electric chair. The jury consisted of 12 Men, young and old, from different backgrounds and cultures, with different social position, different thinking but one thing in common- none of them had …show more content…

I thought it was obvious. I mean nobody proved otherwise.’ – This is the justification given by juror 2 on why he thinks that the boy is guilty. This statement involves the ‘Appeal to Ignorance’. Just by saying that nobody proved that God doesn’t exist, therefore God exists, isn’t enough. Likewise, saying that nobody proved that boy isn’t guilty, so he is guilty, involves error. Fallacy 3: ‘How come you believed her? She’s one of “them” too, isn’t she?’ – This statement by juror 8 involves ‘Attack on the person’. Instead of dealing with the fact that the lady had to say, the juror focused on lady, which can not justified relevant in discussion. Fallacy 4: ‘You’re right. It’s the kids. The way they are—you know? They don’t listen.’ This is a hasty generalization made by juror 3. He says that since his son is a rotten kid, all the kids are rotten. The boy is also a kid and hence, he is also rotten. But this is a hasty decision which is not completely …show more content…

We can’t help that. We’re not here to go into the reasons why slums are breeding grounds for criminals. They are. I know it. So do you. The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.’ Juror 4 gives this very controversial statement. It involves presumption of the juror that might be from his personal experience or social influence. He has assumed that people born in slums are criminals but actually there are people who are not criminals. Fallacy 6: ‘The boy lied and you know it’ - This statement by juror 3 includes a fallacy since he forcefully asserts a statement to make it true which may or may not be true. No one could actually say whether the boy was lying or not but he said it as if it was a universal truth. Fallacy 7: ‘Bright! He’s a common, ignorant slob. He doesn’t even speak good English’ – This statement by juror 10 is again the person specific and not on the main issue, thus involves ‘Attack on the person’. Fallacy 8: ‘I know how to use a switch blade; Switch knives came with the neighborhood where I lived..’ This statement by juror 5 is a fallacy since he is assuming that anyone who lives in a place where switch knives come from would know how to use them. This is not true always. A person will become a boxer only when he will learn and practice it, not by being born in a family of

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