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A Fallacy

A defect in an argument that arises from either a mistake in reasoning or the creation of an illusion that makes a bad argument appear good.


A formal fallacy

A fallacy determined by identifying and examining the form or structure of an argument


Fallacies of relevance

Arguments have premises which are logically irrelevant to the conclusion.


Appeal to Force (Argumentum ad Baculum)

Occurs whenever an arguer poses a conclusion to another person and tells that person either implicitly or explicitly that some harm will come to him or her if they do not accept the conclusion.


Appeal to Pity (Argumentum ad Misericordiam)

Occurs when an arguer attempts to support a conclusion by merely evoking pity from the reader or listener.


Appeal to the People (Argumentum ad Populum)
1. Direct
2. InDirect

Direct -
occurs whenever an arguer, addressing a large group, excites the emotions of the crowd to win acceptance for his/her conclusion. (mob mentality)
the arguer aims their appeal not at the crowd as a whole but at one or more individuals separately, focusing on some aspect of those individuals' relationship to the crowd. (appeal to snobbery)


Ad Hominem abusive

Argument against an individual's characteristics.


Ad hominem Circumstancial

Arguer criticizes the circumstance of the author.


Tu quoque

Argument attempts to make the arguer appear hypocritical.


Fallacy of accident

When a general rule is applied to a specific case it was not intended to cover.


Straw man Fallacy

when an arguer distorts an opponents argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it.


Missing the point

Occurs when the premises of an argument support one particular conclusion, but then a different conclusion is drawn.


Red Herring fallacy

when the arguer diverts the attention of the reader or listener by changing the subject to a different but sometimes subtly related one.


Appeal to Ignorance

Is committed when an individual uses the incapability of something to be proved as a premise.


Hasty Generalization

An argument that draws a conclusion about all members of a group.


Fallacy of False Cause

Whenever the link between premises and conclusion depends on some imagined causal connection that probably does not exist.


Slippery Slope

Occurs when the conclusion of an argument rests on an alleged chain reaction and there is not sufficient reason to think that the reaction will take place.


Weak Analogy

Is committed when the analogy is not strong enough to support the conclusion that is drawn.


Fallacies of presumption

Begging the question, complex question, false dichotomy, and suppressed evidence.
Arise because the premises presume what they purport to prove.


Fallacies of Ambiguity

Equivocation and Amphiboly
Arise from the occurrence of some form of ambiguity in either the premises or the conclusion.


Fallacies of illicit transference

Composition and Division.
Is committed when arguments involve the incorrect transference of an attribute from its parts to the whole an vice-versa.


Begging the question

Is committed when the arguer creates the illusion that inadequate premises provide adequate support for the conclusion by leaving out a false key premise.


Complex question

is committed when two or more questions are asked in the guise of a single question and a single answer is then given to both.


False Dichotomy

is committed when a disjunctive premise presents two unlikely alternatives as if they were the only ones available.


Suppressed Evidence

If an inductive argument ignores some important piece of evidence that outweighs the presented evidence.



occurs when the conclusion of an argument depends on the fact that a word or phrase is used, either explicitly or implicitly, in two different senses.



When the arguer misinterprets an ambiguous statement and then draws a conclusion based on this faulty interpretation.



When the conclusion of an argument depends on the erroneous transference of an attribute from the parts of something onto the whole.



opposite of composition