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Fallacy - defect in an argument that results to a bad argument

Two types of Fallacies:
Formal - one that can be detected by examining the form of argument
Ex. All C are M
All M are A
All C are A
Informal - one that can be detected by examining the content of argument
Ex. A rhinoceros is an animal.
Therefore, a small rhinoceros is a small animal.

I. Fallacies of Relevance
- occur when the premises of an argument are logically relevant to the conclusion
1.) Appeal to Force
- an arguer threatens a reader or listener to win acceptance for a conclusion
- threat may be physical/psychological

2.) Appeal to Pity
- when an arguer attempts to support a conclusion by evoking pity from the reader or
Ex. Bill Baxter deserves to be promoted to vice president. He has three small children,
and just last week his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

3.) Appeal to the People
a.) Direct - when an arguer uses a mob mentality in a large crowd of people to win
acceptance for conclusion
b.) Indirect - when the arguer says simply that you should do such and such because
everyone else is doing it
- this is otherwise called a bandwagon argument
Ex. The new Volkswagen Beetle is the coolest car around. Its selling like hot cakes. You
should as your parents to buy you one.

4.) Argument Against the Person
a.) Circumstantial - you are affected by the circumstances, so your argument is no good
b.) Abusive - you are bad, so your argument is bad
- you attack the person instead of the argument
Ex. Jason: Did you hear Andrews class presentation on senior class rights and
Kyle: Yeah, but donr buy any of his arguments. Hes just a rich snob who likes to
hear himself talk.
c.) Tu Quoque (You, too.) - you are a hypocrite, so your argument is no good
Ex. My driving instructor, Mr. Peterson, told me that its dangerous to drive without a
seat belt. But why should I listen to him? Last week I saw him driving without a seatbelt.

5.) Accident
- when an arguer applies a general rule to a specific case that the rule was not intended to fit

7.) Straw Man

- when an arguer distorts another persons argument for the purpose of more easily
attacking it

8.) Missing the Point
- when the premises of an argument clearly imply one conclusion, but the arguer draws a
different conclusion not implied by the premises (exaggerating)

9.) Red Herring
- when an arguer diverts the attention of the audience by simply changing the subject
- the arguer concludes that he has won (change in the topic)
II. Fallacies of Weak Induction
- occur when the premises provide a tiny bit of support for a conclusion, but not enough to
believe the conclusion
10.) Appeal to Unqualified Authority
- when an arguer cites a statement made by someone else as evidence for a conclusion,
and that person is not qualified to make such a statement

11.) Appeal to Ignorance
- when the premises assert that nothing has been proved about something. the conclusion
then asserts something positive about that thing

12.) Hasty Generalization
- when a general conclusion is drawn from an atypical example

13.) False Cause
-committed when the conclusion of an argument depends on a supposed causal connection
that probably does not exist
a.) Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - two things are causally connected merely because one
happens after the other
b.) Non causa per causa - two things are causally connected merely because they happen
over the same interval of time
c.) Oversimplified cause - a multitude of causes combine to produce an effect, and one of
them is treated as if it were the only cause
d.) Gamblers fallacy - committed when an arguer supports that events in a game of chance
are causally related when in fact they are not
Ex. Mike has not won at Bingo for the past 20 rounds. Therefore, he will not win the
next round.

14.) Slippery Slope
- committed when the conclusion rests on an alleged unlikely chain reaction of causes
and events

15.) Weak Analogy
- when the conclusion depends on an analogy, or similarity between two things or
situations, and the analogy is not strong enough to support the conclusion

III. Fallacies of Presumption
16.) Begging the Question
- when an arguer creates the illusion that premises promote adequate support by:
leaving our a key premise,
restating the conclusion as a premise,
reasoning in a circle

17.) Complex Question
- consists in phrasing two or more questions in the form of a single question
- such a question is sometimes called a loaded question
Ex. Do you always cheat at cards?

18.) False Dichotomy
- the arguer presents two unlikely options as if they were the only ones available
(usually contains either or)

19.) Suppressed Evidence
- when an arguer ignores important evidence that requires a different conclusion

III. Fallacies of Ambiguity
- arise from the use of ambiguous language in the premises/conclusion
19.) Equivocation
- the conclusion of an argument depends on a word or phrase being used in two different

20.) Amphiboly
- when an arguer misinterprets an ambiguous statement and then draws a conclusion
based on the faulty interpretation

IV. Fallacies of Grammatical Analogy
21.) Composition
- when an arguer erroneously transfers an attribute from the parts of something onto the

22.) Division
- when an arguer erroneously transfers an attribute from the whole of something onto
the parts