Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies

Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies ~ Appeal to Authority


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  • All Fallacies
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  • 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
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  • Wrong Direction
  • Complex Cause
  • Begging the Question
  • Irrelevant Conclusion
  • Straw Man
  • Equivocation
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  • Accent
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  • Affirming the Consequent
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  • 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
  • Appeal to Authority

    argumentum ad verecundiam

    Category: Changing the Subject

    Definition: 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.

    Examples:

    Proof:

    While sometimes it may be appropriate to cite an authority to support a point, often it is not. In particular, an appeal to authority is inappropriate if: (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.

    Show that either (i) the person cited is not an authority in the field, or that (ii) there is general disagreement among the experts in the field on this point. (Cedarblom and Paulsen: 155, Copi and Cohen: 95, Davis: 69)


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