Logical Fallacies

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Defects that weaken arguments.
Hasty Generalization
Making assumptions about a whole group or range of cases based on a sample that is inadequate (usually because it is atypical or just too small). Stereotypes about people: "frat boys are drunkards," "women are bad drivers," "blondes aren't smart," are common examples of the principle underlying _____________________.
Missing the point
The premises of an argument support a particular conclusion--but not the conclusion that the arguer actually draws
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc / Faulty Causality
A faulty assumption that the cause of a relationship is the result of what preceded it. "after this, therefore because of this" X then Y, therefore X causes Y.
Slippery Slope
The arguer claims that some form of chain reaction, usually ending in some dire consequence, will take place, but there's really not enough evidence for that assumption.
Weak Analogy
Many arguments rely on an analogy between two or more objects, ideas, or situations. If the two things that are being compared aren't really alike in the relevant respects, the analogy is a weak one, and the argument that relies on it commits the fallacy of weak analogy.
Appeal to Authority
Often we add strength to our arguments by referring to respected sources or authorities and explaining their positions on the issues we're discussing. If, however, we try to get readers to agree with us simply by impressing them with a famous name or by appealing to a supposed authority who really isn't much of an expert, we commit the fallacy of ________________.

Appeal to Pity

The appeal to pity takes place when an arguer tries to get people to accept a conclusion by making them feel sorry for someone - it includes the technique of pathos.

Appeal to Ignorance

an appeal to ignorance lacks conclusive evidence (data, facts, statistics) about the issue being discussed. Therefore, the arguer states that one should accept his or her conclusion on the presented issue.

Straw Man
One way of making our own arguments stronger is to anticipate and respond in advance to the arguments that an opponent might make. The arguer sets up a wimpy, distorted, or misrepresented version of the opponent's position (counterargument) and tries to score points by knocking it down.
Red Herring
Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what's really being discussed. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.

False Dichotomy

In false dichotomy, the arguer sets up the situation so it looks like there are only two choices. The arguer then eliminates one of the choices, so it seems that we are left with only one option: the one the arguer wanted us to pick in the first place.

Begging the Question

A complicated fallacy; an argument that begs the question asks the reader to simply accept the conclusion without providing real evidence by saying the same point in different words.

  • the argument either relies on a premise that says the same thing as the conclusion (which you might hear referred to as "being circular" or "circular reasoning"), or simply ignores an important (but questionable) assumption that the argument rests on.

Non Sequitur
A gap in the sequence of your logic. Usually what happened is that the writer leaped from A to B and then jumped to D, leaving out step C of an argument he/ she thought through in her head, but did not put down on paper.
sliding between two or more different meanings of a single word or phrase that is important to the argument.
Circular Reasoning
One statement is true because of the other statement, and the other statement is true because of the previous statement. A claim is supported by its reasoning; the argument begins where it ends. Often depicted as: X is true because of Y and Y is true because of X.
Reductio Ad Absurdum (Reducing to an absurdity)
It involves extending someone's arguments to ridiculous proportions then criticizing the result that no reasonable person would take such a position.
Poisoning the Well
Attacking an argument by attacking the opponent (discrediting them) before they can present their argument.
Appeal to Tradition
Because something has always been done a particular way, it should continue to be done that way.
Stacking the Deck
Any evidence that supports an opposing argument is rejected, omitted, or ignored.
Hypothesis Contrary to the fact
Offering poorly supported claims about what might have happened in the past or future if (the hypothetical part) circumstances or conditions were different. The fallacy also entails treating future hypothetical situations as if they are fact.
Moving the Goalposts
Demanding from an opponent that he or she address more and more points after the initial counter-argument has been satisfied refusing to concede or accept the opponent's argument.