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Flashcards in Logical Fallacies Ecamples Deck (16)
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Women are on average not as strong as men and less able to carry a gun. Therefore women can't pull their weight in a military unit

Dicto simpliciter
(sweeping generalization; stereotyping)


I met some children from Canada yesterday who were very polite. I think all children from the area must be well behaved

Hasty generalization


There was no appreciable crime related to drugs when they were legal. Crime rate has increased since they have been made illegal. Therefore, drugs should be legal since legalization would improve the "quality of life" in the US

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc


• Into what shape of hole would a round square fit
• if an object is all black and all white at the same time, what color is it?

Contradictory premises


Oh, officer, there's no reason to give me a traffic ticket for going too fast because I was just on my way to the hospital to see my wife who is in serious condition to tell her I just lost my job and the car will be repossessed.

Ad Misericordiam
(Appeal for sympathy)


If bananas and the sun appear yellow, one cannot conclude that they are the same size

False analogy


In a lab, you can conclude that plants give off carbon dioxide and use oxygen; therefore carbon dioxide is a byproduct of photosynthesis

Hypothesis contrary to fact


He has been proven to be a liar numerous times, so don't believe anything he tells you

Poisoning the well


1. Hot dogs are better than nothing. There's nothing better than steak. So hot dogs are better than steak.
2. aspirin will make noisy children go away because children are a headache and aspirin makes headaches go away
3. Everything that runs his feet. The river runs. Therefore the river has feet

(circular logic)


1. Bill lives in a large building so his apartment must be large
2. Tens of thousands of Americans have seen lights in the night sky, which they could not identify. The existence of life on the other planets is fast becoming certainty

Non sequitur
("it does not follow")


We must have a death penalty to discourage violent crime
(assumes it discourages crime)

Begging the question


Q: Did the president have an affair?
A: "He's very busy at the moment with the Middle East Peace talks, and has no time for silly accusations."

Ignoring the question
(red herring)


Assuming Atheism is the only alternative to Fundamentalism, or being a traitor is the only alternative to being a loud patriot

Faulty dilemma
(Either/or reasoning)


"Von Daniken's books about ancient astronauts worthless because he is a convicted forger and embezzler."

Ad hominem


Logical Structure example:
All humans are mortal,
Socrates is human,
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.



Logical structure example:
We cannot trust this man, for he has perjured himself in the past.
(Major premise omitted: those who perjure themselves cannot be trusted)