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Slippery Slope Argument

The basic form of the slippery slope argument is as follows: A particular action seems to be acceptable. But if this action takes place, then another, even less acceptable action, will follow. This is followed by an even less acceptable action, and so forth. For example, someone might argue that legalizing prostitution will cause more marriages to break up, which will in turn cause the breakdown of the family, which will finally result in the destruction of civilization. There are two major versions of the slippery slope argument: (1) the logical slippery slope and (2) the causal slippery slope. Sometimes versions of the latter are labeled “the empirical slippery slope.”

The logical slippery slope argument is best illustrated by the example of baldness. Removing one hair ...

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