Chapter 4 - Informal Fallacies Flashcards Preview

Phi 111- Logic > Chapter 4 - Informal Fallacies > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 4 - Informal Fallacies Deck (34):

A mistake in reasoning that occurs in ordinary language and is different from error in the form or structure of arguments.

Informal fallacy


Fallacies that occur whenever irrelevant premises are offered in support of a conclusion.

Fallacies of relevance


When a claim is rejected or judged to be false based alleged character flaws of the person making the claim. A second common form occurs whenever someone's statement or reasoning is attacked by way of a stereotype, such as racial, sexual, or religious stereotype. A third form involved the use of circumstances of a person's life to reject his claims.

Argument against the person


A variety of the ad hominem fallacy that is distinguished by the specific attempt of one person to avoid the issue at hand by claiming the other person is a hypocrite.

Tu quoque


The avoidance of objective evidence in favor of an emotional response defeats the goal of a rational investigation of truth. The tactic appeals to people's desire to belong to a group.

Appeal to the people


A specific kind of emotional plea that relies solely on a sense of pity for support.

Appeal to pity


A threat of harmful consequences (physical or otherwise) used to force acceptance of a course of action that would otherwise be unacceptable.

Appeal to force


An argument built on a position of ignorance claims either that (1) a statement must be true because it has not been proven to be false or (2) a statement must be false because it has not been proven to be true.

Appeal to ignorance


When premises seem to lead logically to one conclusion are used instead to support an unexpected conclusion.

Missing the point


An argument that relies on the opinions of people who have no expertise, training, or knowledge relevant to the issue at hand.

Appeal to an unqualified authority


What are the fallacies from 1. Argument against the person (ad hominem) to ... 8. Appeal to an unqualified authority called?

[Summary of] Fallacies of Relevance


Arguments that assume the truth of some unproved or questionable claim.

Fallacies of unwarranted assumption


An argument that assumes as evidence in the premises the very thing that it attempts to prove in the conclusion.

Begging the question


A single question that actually contains multiple, hidden parts.

Complex question


An argument that uses a non-representative sample as support for a statistical claim about an entire population.

Biased sample


When a generalization is inappropriately applied to the case at hand.



A generalization created on the basis of a few instances.

Hasty generalization


A claim that appears to be statistically significant but is not.

Misleading precision


A fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that only two choices are possible, when in fact others exist.

False dichotomy


A fallacy that occurs when two choices are asserted, each leading to an unwanted result, but there is a failure to acknowledge that other possibilities exist.

False dilemma


A fallacy that occurs when a causal connection is assumed to exist between two events when none actually exists.

False cause


A fallacy that results from the accidental or chance connection between two events.



A fallacy involving either a short term or long term pattern that is noticed after the fact.

Post hoc fallacy


A mistake that occurs when someone thinks that one event causes another, when in fact both events are the result of a common cause.

Common cause fallacy


An argument that attempts to make a final event the inevitable outcome of an initial act.

Slippery slope


A fallacy that occurs when the meaning of terms or phrases are changed(intentionally or unintentionally) within the argument, or when our attention is purposely (or accidentally) diverted from the issue at hand.

Fallacy of ambiguity or diversion


The intentional or unintentional use of different meanings of words or phrases in an argument.



Ambiguity that arises when a poorly constructed statement muddles the intended meaning.



The mistaken transfer of an attribute of the individual parts of an object to the object as a whole.



The mistaken transfer of an attribute of an object as a whole to its individual parts.



A fallacy that occurs when attention is purposely (or accidentally) diverted from the issue at hand.



A fallacy that occurs when someone's written or spoken words are taken out of context. It purposely distorts the original argument to create a new, weak argument that can be easily refuted (a straw man that is easily knocked down).

Straw man


A fallacy that occurs when someone completely ignores an opponent's position and changes the subject, diverting the discussion in a new direction.

Red herring


A logical error that occurs in the form or structure of an argument; it is restricted to deductive arguments.

Formal fallacy