Logical Fallacies

Use this dataset to learn about common types of logical fallacies.
a data set by Athena
created September 22, 2017
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FallacyOther Name(s)DefinitionExample
Ad HominemPersonal AttackAttacks the arguer instead of the argumentA: Global warming is real. B: That's not true because you're delusional.
BandwagonArgumentum ad populumThe argument is declared to be true because many people believe that it is1. Many people think that the Earth is flat. Therefore: 2. The Earth must be flat.
Argument from FallacyArgumentum ad logicam Fallacist's FallacyRejects an idea as false because the argument that presented the idea is fallaciousA: Water is made of H2O. You are stupid. B: 1. Your argument used a personal attack Therefore: 2. Water is not made of H2O
Fallacy of CompositionAssumes that what is true about part of the whole is true about the whole1. The car's tires are made of rubber. Therefore: 2. The car is made of rubber.
Fallacy of DivisonAssumes that what is true about the whole must be true about every part of the whole1. High school students use social media a lot. 2. Jennifer is a high school student. Therefore: 3. Jennifer uses social media a lot.
Straw ManMisrepresents an argument to make it appeal weaker than it actually isA: We should relax the laws on marijuana. B: No, societies with access to drugs lose their work ethic and are obsessed with immediate gratification.
Gambler's FallacyMonte Carlo Fallacy Fallacy of the Maturity of ChancesAssumes that if something happens more frequently than normal during a period of time, then it will happen less frequently in the future or vice versa1. The coin landed head-up nine times in a row. Therefore: 2. The coin will land tails-up on the tenth try.
Genetic FallacyFallacy of OriginsRejects or accepts an idea based on its source, not its merit1. My dad says that Santa Claus is real Therefore: 2. Santa Claus is real
Appeal to TraditionArgumentum ad antiquitatemAssumes that a premise is true because people have always believed it or done it1. Children have started school at 8am for a long time. Therefore: 2. Starting school at 8am is best for children.
Appeal to AuthorityArgumentum ad verecundiamAssumes that an idea is true because a person judged to be of authority affirms the idea1. Rush Limbaugh says that global warming is a myth. Therefore; 2. Global warming is a myth.
Appeal to ConsequencesArgumentum ad consequentiamConcludes that an idea is true or false based on whether the idea leads to desirable or undesirable consequences1. If you don't have children, your life will be meaningless. Therefore: 2. You must have children.
Appeal to ForceArgumentum ad baculumAn attempt to persuade using threats1. If you don't accept that Kim Jong-Un is the rightful leader of North Korea, you will be killed. Therefore: 2. Kim Jong-Un is the rightful leader of North Korea.
Appeal to NoveltyArgumentum ad novitatemAssumes that an idea is true because it is new1. The iPhone 7 is the newest iPhone. Therefore: 2. The iPhone 7 is the best iPhone.
Appeal to PitySob story Galileo arguement Argumentum ad misericordiamAttempts to persuade using emotion (i.e. sympathy) instead of evidence"You must have lost my paper. I worked for a very long time on this paper because I need good grades for a scholarship. If I don't get a scholarship I won't be able to afford school!"
Appeal to PovertyArgumentum ad lazarumAssumes an idea is correct because the speaker is poor, or incorrect because the speaker is wealthy1. The working class work for 12 hours a day. Therefore: 2. Working for 12 hours a day is virtuous.
Appeal to WealthArgumentum ad crumenamAssumes that someone or something is better because they are wealthier or more expensive1. My car cost more than his. Therefore: 2. My car is better than his.
Moralistic FallacyAssumes that an aspect of nature that has unpleasant consequences cannot exist1. War is tragic 2. Human nature is good. Therefore: 3. War is not part of human nature.
Naturalistic FallacyInfers "ought" from "is"; assumes that because something occurs in nature, that's the way is should be.1. Men have more muscle mass and women can give birth. Therefore: 2. Men and women cannot have the same roles in society.
Red HerringAttempts to divert the arguer by introducing another, often irrelevent, topic"You shouldn't ground me for staying out late! My sister has done worse things."
Argument from IgnoranceArgumentum ad ignorantiamInfers that an idea is true because it has not proven to be false1. No one has been able to prove that aliens exist. Therefore: 2. Aliens don't exist.
Affirming the ConsequentConverse errorFollows the following form: 1. If A then B 2. B Therefore: 3. A1. If I have the flu, I have a sore throat. 2. I have a sore throat. Therefore: 3. I have the flu.
Circular ReasoningCirculus in probandoAn argument that uses its conclusion as one of its premisesA: Bees make honey. B: Why? A: Because Bees make honey.
Complex QuestionPlurium interrogationumRests on a questionable assumption to which all answer affirm the truth of that assumption"Are you going to admit that you're wrong?"
Post Hoc FallacyPost hoc ergo propter hocAssumes that because one thing occured after another, it must have occured as a result of it1. I prayed for good grades. 2. I got good grades Therefore: 3. Prayer works.
Cum Hoc FallacyArgues that because two things occured together, they must be causally related1. Internet use has increased in the past 10 years. 2. Smoking has declined in the past 10 years Therefore: 3. Increased internet use causes smoking rates to decline.
False DilemmaBifurcation fallacyClaims that something is an "either/or" situation when in fact there is at least one additional option "In the War on Terror, you're either with us, or against us." (Neutrality is an option.)
Slippery SlopeCamel's noseFalsely claims that one thing must lead to another"If we allow people to smoke marijuana, they will then start using cocaine and heroin too."
Tu QuoqueAppeal to hypocrisyAssumes that because someone else has done something, there is nothing wrong with doing it1. Other companies have raised their prices. Therefore: 2. We can raise our prices.
Sweeping GeneralizationApplies a general statement too broadly1. Too many cooks spoil the brew. Therefore: 2. One person should do all the work for this group project.
Hasty GeneralizationDraws a rule from a single, possibly atypical, case1. Bill Gates dropped out of school and is now a millionaire. Therefore: 2. People who drop out of school become millionaires.
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