Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies

All Fallacies


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  • All Fallacies
  • The Fallacies

  • False Dilemma
  • Argument From Ignorance
  • Slippery Slope
  • Complex Question
  • Appeal to Force
  • Appeal to Pity
  • Appeal to Consequences
  • Prejudicial Language
  • Appeal to Popularity
  • Anonymous Authorities
  • Coincidental Correlation
  • Attacking the Person
  • Appeal to Authority
  • Converse Accident
  • Style Over Substance
  • Unrepresentative Sample
  • Hasty Generalization
  • False Analogy
  • Slothful Induction
  • Fallacy of Exclusion
  • Accident
  • Joint Effect
  • Genuine but Insignificant Cause
  • Wrong Direction
  • Complex Cause
  • Begging the Question
  • Irrelevant Conclusion
  • Straw Man
  • Equivocation
  • Amphiboly
  • Accent
  • Composition
  • Division
  • Affirming the Consequent
  • Denying the Antecedent
  • Inconsistency
  • Fallacy of Four Terms
  • Undistributed Middle
  • Illicit Major
  • Illicit Minor
  • Fallacy of Exclusive Premises
  • Drawing an Affirmative Conclusion From a Negative Premise
  • Existential Fallacy
  • Subverted Support
  • Non-Support
  • Untestability
  • Limited Scope
  • Limited Depth
  • Too Broad
  • Too Narrow
  • All the Fallacies

    False Dilemma
    Two choices are given when in fact there are three options

    Argument From Ignorance
    Because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false

    Slippery Slope
    A series of increasingly unacceptable consequences is drawn

    Complex Question
    Two unrelated points are conjoined as a single proposition

    Appeal to Force
    The reader is persuaded to agree by force

    Appeal to Pity
    The reader is persuaded to agree by sympathy

    Appeal to Consequences
    The reader is warned of unacceptable consequences

    Prejudicial Language
    Value or moral goodness is attached to believing the author

    Appeal to Popularity
    A proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true

    Anonymous Authorities
    The authority in question is not named

    Coincidental Correlation
    Because one thing follows another, it is held to cause the other

    Attacking the Person
    The person's character is attacked, the person's circumstances are noted, or the person does not practice what is preached

    Appeal to Authority
    The authority is not an expert in the field, experts in the field disagree, or the authority was joking, drunk, or in some other way not being serious (i) the person is not qualified to have an expert opinion on the subject, ii) experts in the field disagree on this issue. (iii) the authority was making a joke, drunk, or otherwise not being serious A variation of the fallacious appeal to authority is hearsay. An argument from hearsay is an argument which depends on second or third hand sources.

    Converse Accident
    An exception is applied in circumstances where a generalization should apply

    Style Over Substance
    The manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented is felt to affect the truth of the conclusion

    Unrepresentative Sample
    The sample is unrepresentative of the population as a whole

    Hasty Generalization
    The sample is too small to support an inductive generalization about a population

    False Analogy
    The two objects or events being compared are relevantly dissimilar

    Slothful Induction
    The conclusion of a strong inductive argument is denied despite the evidence to the contrary

    Fallacy of Exclusion
    Evidence which would change the outcome of an inductive argument is excluded from consideration

    A generalization is applied when circumstances suggest that there should be an exception

    Joint Effect
    One thing is held to cause another when in fact they are both the joint effects of an underlying cause

    Genuine but Insignificant Cause
    One thing is held to cause another, and it does, but it is insignificant compared to other causes of the effect

    Wrong Direction
    The direction between cause and effect is reversed

    Complex Cause
    The cause identified is only a part of the entire cause of the effect

    Begging the Question
    The truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises

    Irrelevant Conclusion
    An argument in defense of one conclusion instead proves a different conclusion

    Straw Man
    The author attacks an argument different from (and weaker than) the opposition's best argument

    The same term is used with two different meanings

    The structure of a sentence allows two different interpretations

    The emphasis on a word or phrase suggests a meaning contrary to what the sentence actually says

    Because the parts have a certain property, it is argued that the whole has that property

    Because the whole has a certain property, it is argued that the parts have that property

    Affirming the Consequent
    Any argument of the form: If A then B, B, therefore A

    Denying the Antecedent
    Any argument of the form: If A then B, Not A, thus Not B

    Asserting that contrary or contradictory statements are both true

    Fallacy of Four Terms
    A syllogism has four terms

    Undistributed Middle
    Two separate categories are said to be connected because they share a common property

    Illicit Major
    The predicate of the conclusion talks about all of something, but the premises only refer to some of them.

    Illicit Minor
    The subject of the conclusion talks about all of something, but the premises only refer to some of them.

    Fallacy of Exclusive Premises
    A syllogism has two negative premises

    Drawing an Affirmative Conclusion From a Negative Premise
    As the name implies

    Existential Fallacy
    A particular conclusion is drawn from universal premises

    Subverted Support
    The phenomenon being explained doesn't exist

    Evidence for the phenomenon being explained is biased

    The theory that explains cannot be tested

    Limited Scope
    The theory that explains can only explain one thing

    Limited Depth
    The theory which explains does not appeal to underlying causes

    Too Broad
    The definition includes items that should not be included

    Too Narrow
    The definition does not include all the items that should be included

    Created by Stephen Downes, Copyright 2023 CC By-NC-SA