Questions tagged [fallacies]

concerns logical fallacies, which are errors in the logic or reasoning of an argument that result in a misconception or presumption. The fallacies tag is also appropriate for analysis of tactics that may be applied deliberately to deceive. For example, if tactical omissions in an argument motivate a member of the audience to try to fill in omitted elements, then this can be portrayed as a straw man attack against the creator of the argument.

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How to self-learn legal arguments, logic, and reasoning?

What are some readable, eloquent (without legalese) books on arguments, fallacies, logic, and reasoning, as applied and used in law? This question is aimed towards a greenhorn/tenderfoot with ...
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Is this an Ad Hominem attack?

"I can only deduce that if you spout pro-palestinian rhetoric, and ignore that they are the initial aggressor because you aren't concerned with that truth, and you site Youtube as your source (as do ...
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Is this a fallacy? “X is wrong, because … think of the children”

Recently, I've been thinking about constructing an argument consisting of either a tautology or something you can't attack, to make it more convincing. In my opinion this is not allowed and I used to ...
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Is Laurence Krauss's statement “something can come from nothing” a misleading statement? [closed]

I’ve been reading/watching all interviews I can find on the topic, but I’ve come up short answering my question. I fear I HAVE understood Laurence Krauss and that it IS as I fear. I really need to ...
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What fallacy takes place in asking a loaded leading question: “Why do you think elephants are smaller than mosquitos?”

Assume someone asks you: "Why do you think/believe elephants are smaller than mosquitoes?" Whilst you have never claimed that you actually think/believe that. The interrogator has hereby claimed ...
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Does the fallacy in “it's true because I would like it to be true” have a name?

Intuitively (dare I say logically), this concept appears to be a logical fallacy. Is it actually a "formal" fallacy and does it have a name? Reincarnation must be true because I wouldn't want to ...
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What is the difference between Ad Hominem and keeping someone Accountable?

Imagine someone who you know is a defender of an idea, let's call it idea A. Than one day, you see her defending the opposite idea, idea B, in a group that you know supports idea B. When you ...
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What is this type of logical fallacy called?

If the Principal of a school says that unruly boys will not be allowed to play games and if someone concludes that it is perfectly fine for unruly girls to play games, what is the fallacy called as?
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Argument Analysis: Is this argument a slippery slope?

I am having trouble determining whether this statement is a slippery slope, but cannot think of any other option. I am looking at this as A leads to B and that leads to a catastrophic C, but not sure ...
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What fallacy is this: “A: Do you adore cake? B: No. Ergo, B hates cake”

A:Do you adore chocolate cake? B:No. (But he likes it) A:Oh, B hates chocolate cake!
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Does this reduction to the absurd bastardize the technique?

I have a small-claims matter pending with the courts in my state. Here, self-represented parties are required to attend an information session, which I attended today. During this session the ...
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Is it a fallacy to blame someone for an action without reason?

Is there a name or definition for the following fallacy (if you can even call it that): Peter decides that the team will use Product A. While using Product A, the team encounters problems. They ...
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Is “we can't do good because bad exists” a logical fallacy?

Being in tech, I've heard something like this a lot: "I can't believe our culture is spending time and money on [self driving cars/taxi hailing apps/robots/etc.] when there's so much [poverty/...
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Which fallacy is this? “For every A, there is a B. Therefore, for every B there is an A.”

I know that the following reasoning is a logical fallacy, but I don't know how to classify it: "For all A there is a corresponding B. Therefore for all B there is a corresponding A." It is not ...
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Is argument that two theories are equally valid because I am not an expert “argument ad ignoratum”

I am trying to get to grips with an argument with a friend, whereby he argues that because he does not have the full facts or because one theory is not 100% proven means that both competing theories ...
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Not knowing original (scientific) research fallacy

I was having a discussion with a friend after one too many Gin and Tonics about UK drugs policy. I recently read "Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs" by ...
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Is there a term for the “God of the Gaps” fallacy sans God?

As I understand the "God of the Gaps" fallacy, it's summed up as: We don't have an explanation for this phenomenon. The lack of explanation proves that God did it. This same logic can be applied ...
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What fallacy is this? “We should cancel the crime of murder so that the number of homicides will drop to zero”

In the following assertion: We should cancel the crime of murder so that the number of homicides will drop to zero The speaker is confusing the legal status of something (murder) with the bare ...
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How do I understand “Begging the question” in philosophical context?

I understand the fallacy of begging the question's definition. but I can't see why this fallacy's name should be "begging the question." According to the Macmillan's English dictionary, "to beg the ...
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Conspiracy theories: an argument from silence, or appeal to ignorance?

Conspiracy theorists often claim that a lack of evidence for the alleged conspiracy only goes to show just how powerful the conspiracy really is because it can suppress the evidence. Is this an ...
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Are all fallacies created equal?

That is, are some fallacies considered worse than others, or does each fallacy have the same weight? For example, are formal fallacies considered "worse" than informal fallacies or vice versa? For ...
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Logical fallacy: Wealthy person who takes public office can't be corrupt

“If Frenkel is only interested in money why would he leave a position that pays him 20 to 30 times the salary to be Bank of Israel Governor?” Lapid said in a fiery interview with Israel Radio’s ...
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What fallacy relates to a question based on an untrue conditional? (e.g., handling the poop of my pet unicorn)

Suppose I am sincerely concerned and asked this question: I should keep a pink unicorn in my back yard, but what if it poops in my garden? The characteristic of this question is that the "second ...
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Fallacy: shifting the point of the conversation

A: "Biologically men and women are different, and therefore it shouldn't surprise they have different salary on average". B: "That is obvious. But you cannot derive from such a difference in terms of ...
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“Fallacy of failure to comprehend”? [closed]

Is there a name for the logical fallacy of assuming that if one can't personally understand something, it must not be valid? For example, I've heard people refuting scientific evidence on the ...
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What fallacy is this: “The poor worry. The rich don't worry. If you want to be rich, don't worry”

If one were to reason that most poor people worry about money and most UBER-wealthy people don't worry about money, and they want to be UBER-wealthy, than they should simply not worry about money... ...
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Is it an informal fallacy to call an argument ridiculous without pointing out the flaw?

I think it is one kind of informal fallacy to dismiss a logical argument by just calling it ridiculous without actually showing how the argument is invalid. At first, I thought it to be ad hominem as ...
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is “2+3=6, then 2+3+1=7” an example of the fallacy fallacy?

Is "if 2+3=6, then 2+3+1=7" an example of a fallacy fallacy or argumentum ad logicam? I believe it is an example of the fallacy fallacy, but I'm not able to show it. I only think it is a fallacy ...
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How does one differentiate between premise and proposition?

I find it difficult to differentiate between premises and propositions. Given these statements: "If men evolved from apes then there wouldn't be any ape nowadays." "There are apes ...
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Is the argument 'you cannot claim that “God doesn't exist” because you cannot demonstrate this inexistence' an argumentum ad ignorantiam?

I'm able to tell this is an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam, "I can't prove the existence of god, therefore, god doesn't exist." But what about the sentence "One should never claim that "God ...
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Need help to identify fallacy and/or bias

Never posted on this stack site before, so I hope I'm not being rude. I would like to know what bias, fallacy, or combination thereof is involved in the case of treating a (probably rotating) group ...
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Which logical fallacy relies on the credibility of academic professors?

You can trust that academics know the truth because they have tenure and are free to think for themselves. Question: What percentage actually have tenure? Does having tenure mean you're right about ...
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What's so fallacious about the Slippery Slope Fallacy?

When you look at the world, I think it's a rather non-controversial statement that a good percentage, if not a majority, of social problems are caused by people making choices based solely on short-...
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Does the ad hominem fallacy only apply when used against individuals, or is it also a fallacy when used against organizations?

I know that the strict translation of ad hominem is against the person, but still I wonder if the logical fallacy named ad hominem is equally applicable when used against organizations. For example, ...
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What logical fallacy is made in this statement?

Consider this text: Researchers conducted two different types of test on a large group of people. After that, the researchers subjected the people to situations like Z and noted their response R. ...
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Is there a name for an argument like “A implies B; B implies A; therefore A”?

Is there a name for the following false syllogism? A implies B and B implies A therefore A For example: If unicorns exist then they have horns, by the definition of a unicorn. But in order for ...
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What is the fallacy in comparing evolution to a fairy tale?

I found the following statement on this Creationist site. If a fair maiden kisses a frog which instantly changes into a handsome prince we would call it a fairy tale. But if the frog takes 40 ...
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What is the best way to learn logical fallacies? [closed]

I want to learn logic better, I know a few fallacies but I've read no books mostly just stuff on the Internet. I see them everywhere, but sometimes I don't know what the fallacy is called. I am a ...
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Identifying a specific fallacy in the “Primitive Amazon” meme

So basically I came through this fallacious argument/image: . Which translates into: Without stress Without bombs Without beggars Without prisons Without junk food Without external ...
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Is “if A then B; B therefore A” a subset of the “post hoc” fallacy?

Recently, I read the following comment: If you aren't pissing someone off some of the time, you're not doing anything very useful or interesting. The context was that some people were pissed off ...
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What, if any, common fallacy would relate to an appeal to the importance or gravity of a situation?

Is there any common fallacy that might fit the following 'syllogism'? X is important, or urgent Therefore, X Here's an example of a conversation where this could come up: It's conceivable that our ...
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What is fallacious about an argument that “I know X well, so she is right”?

I often hear from media personalities that they are right about a theory or assertion merely by associating themselves with someone or something. For example: "I know Mr. X very well (for years) and ...
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Was Plato using strawmen in his dialogues?

In Plato's Dialogues, he often would put words into the mouths of two opposing points-of-view, while inserting a third voice, often initially presented as taking a position between the two viewpoints, ...
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What is the term for an argument where denial of the proposition can be used as evidence of the proposition's truthfulness?

I've seen this used enough times that there's probably a formal name for it, but I don't know what it is. For example, from Catch-22: "I think I'm going crazy." "Only a sane person is capable ...
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What is an 'argumentum ad baculum'? [closed]

I've seen philosophical arguments descriped as 'argumentum ad baculum', but never quite understood what the criticism is trying to indicate. As best I can tell, it's using force or the threat of force ...
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What is an 'argumentum ad lapidem'? [closed]

I've seen philosophical arguments descriped as 'argumentum ad lapidem', but never quite understood what the criticism is trying to indicate. As best I can tell, it's a dismissal of an argument with ...
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What is a “straw man” argument? [closed]

What is a "straw man" argument? Assuming an interlocutor is utilizing such an argument against you, what are some techniques for countering it? What motivations might lie behind a disputant using a ...

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