Informal Fallacies

Helpfulness: 0
Set Details Share
created 6 years ago by Fantastic39
44 views
Grade levels:
College: First year, College: Second year, College: Third year, College: Fourth year
show moreless
Page to share:
Embed this setcancel
COPY
code changes based on your size selection
Size:
X
Show:
1

Ad hominem

An attack on the opponent rather than on the opponent's argument.
(e.g., "What would you expect from a woman...a kid...?"

2

Ambiguity

Using a term that has several possible meanings in a particular context, although one cannot tell which meaning is intended.

3

Improper appeal to authority

Appeal to an alleged authority who is either not capable of exercising jurisdiction or else is not credible with regard to the matter in question.
(Rejoinder: (a) authorities in one field may not be authorities in another; (b) in fields where experts disagree, we need to become experts ourselves; ( c) some experts are better than others.)

4

Appeal to fear

Using threats rather than an argument to obtain argument.

5

Improper appeal to practice

Defending an action on the ground that it is part of a customary or traditional practice.
(Rejoinder: The action may not belong to the practice, or the practice may not exist.)

6

Faulty argument from analogy

When two things are alleged to be similar, a conclusion applicable to one may be said to be applicable to the other. But if the respect in which the comparison is made lacks similarity, the analogy is faulty and does not support the conclusion.

7

Composition

Claiming that what is true of the whole is therefore true of the part.

8

Definition

Defining a word by means of a synonym.

9

Division

Claiming that what is true of the part is therefore true of the whole.

10

Begging the question

Assuming or taking for granted the very thing one is trying to prove.

11

Dubious assumption

Employing an assumption that is open to reasonable challenge, or where the assumption is missing a premise.

12

Equivocation

Equivocation occurs when a term's meaning shifts from one of its appearances to another in the same context.

13

Guilt by association

Attacking the arguer on the ground of an alleged association against which accusations have made.

14

Jumping to conclusions

Presenting an argument with an insufficient sample of relevant evidence, while ignoring the presence of contrary evidence.

15

Inconsistency

Asserting two propositions that cannot both be true at the same time, or supporting a conclusion with contradictory reasons.

16

Non sequitur

Giving a reason that is not relevant, with the result that the argument is invalid.

17

Red herring

Citing unrelated or phantom issues, thereby distracting attention from the merits of the argument.

18

Straw person

Falsely attributing a position to an opponent and then criticizing that trashier than the opponent's actual position. Attaching a weaker position that the real one.

19

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

Asserting that the cause of something must be an event that accrued just prior to the thing in question.

20

Two wrongs don't make a right

Exonerating an action solely on the grounds that an allegedly similar action in the past was not blamed or criticized.

21

Vagueness

Offering an argument at least one of whose premises is so indeterminate as to be virtually meaningless, thereby rendering the premise useless.