# Question on fallicious argument (appeal to popularity)

We are currently learning about fallacies and need help to clarify our understanding.

Take these 2 arguments:

1. When walking downtown, the majority of people I asked told me that the metro was on the left; therefore, the metro is on the left.
2. When walking downtown, the majority of people I asked told me that the metro was on the left; therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the metro is on the left.

Would both pf these arguments be considered invalid and both be an example of the appeal to popularity fallacy or is the second argument not an example of this fallacy. If the second example is not an example of this fallacy why?

• Do you know about the difference between validity and soundness in logic? Neither argument is valid as stated, though either one could be made valid with an additional premise, in the first case "if the majority of people I asked told me that the metro was on the left, then the metro is on the left" and in the second case "if the majority of people I asked told me that the metro was on the left, then it is reasonable to assume that the metro is on the left". But whether such an argument would be sound would depend on whether we accept the premises as true. Aug 7, 2021 at 2:29
• The distinction is that on the one hand you’re saying that something is true because lots of people think that it is (obviously fallacious) while on the other you’re saying that something is probably true because lots of people believe that it is - this is a statistical claim and may well be correct. Either way, the location of the metro does not in any way depend on where people believe it to be, which is really the crux of the matter.
– Frog
Aug 7, 2021 at 2:34
• The term "reasonable" does a lot of work in the 2nd statement. So much so that it's impossible to assert the validity of the proposition without context. Although it seems perfectly reasonable to believe the metro is on the left, it would be very unreasonable to believe Elvis is still alive only because many people told you so. Aug 7, 2021 at 2:38
• Despite the answer below, the first one is definitely the appeal to popularity fallacy; he is overthinking it Aug 7, 2021 at 8:33