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What is, and isn't the appeal to emotion logical fallacy? I was practicing with my friend identifying what statements are logical fallacies, in a ridiculous manner. My friend made this statement "It makes me feel obligated to read it, or suffer from ignorance." For a correct example from https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/29/Appeal-to-Emotion it states this example "Power lines cause cancer. I met a little boy with cancer who lived just 20 miles from a power line who looked into my eyes and said, in his weak voice, “Please do whatever you can so that other kids won’t have to go through what I am going through.” I urge you to vote for this bill to tear down all power lines and replace them with monkeys on treadmills." this is a correct example of the fallacy. Appeal to emotion is using emotion, or emotionally charged statements(language) to convince the audience.

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"Power lines cause cancer. I met a little boy with cancer who lived just > 20 miles from a power line who looked into my eyes and said, ...

Your example is an appeal to emotion, but not an example of the appeal to emotion fallacy. To be a fallacy, the appeal to emotion would have to stand in place of a rational argument. In your case it merely tries to motivate for action.

Maybe an example for the appeal to emotion fallacy would that the theory of evolution has to be rejected unless you want to accept that humans are mere monkeys. Hoping nobody wants to feel the feelings that go along with this statement (assume shame and humiliation for the sake of the argument), the fallacy tries to coerce an audience into rejecting evolution based on emotions, rather than a rational argument.

  • Does that mean that the appeal to emotion fallacy could also be used in a positive notion? – 13AM Jan 23 '18 at 18:18
  • It's always a fallacy, meaning always an attempt at coercion away from the most reasonable choice. So in philosophy, it can never be used in a positive notion. Outside philosophy, you can use it to stop a paranoid dictator from killing people or make a wife go back to her abusive husband, whatever. Whether any usage is "positive" or not seems rather subjective. – tkruse Jan 24 '18 at 1:31
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What is, and isn't the appeal to emotion logical fallacy?

Just about every fallacious argument is, in some way, an appeal to emotion. An ad hominem argument says that a statement is wrong because its proponent is a bad person. Ignoratio elenchi often uses emotion to draw the listener's attention away from a losing argument. Ad populum says that a statement is right because it is popular, which is as emotional an argument as you could find.

Basically, when the premises do not add up to the conclusion, something has to be used to paste all the statements together, and that something is usually emotion.

  • Downvote: there are plenty of logical and statistical fallacies that aren't appeals to emotion. Example: P implies Q means that Q implies P. If members of set S (of people) are historically more likely to do something, the current analog of set S is also more likely to do that thing. – barrycarter Jan 16 '18 at 15:59

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