Logical fallacies are statements that have the tendency of appearing rational but are actually flawed.
The most common 10 types of fallacies are:
#1. Ad Hominem: This occurs when an author attacks his opponent instead of his opponent’s argument.
Person A: It is crucial that we facilitate adequate means to prevent degradation that would jeopardize the project. Person B: You think that just because you use big words makes you sound smart? Shut up you loser; you don’t know what you’re talking about.
#2: Ad Populum: Ad Populum attempts to prove an argument as correct simply because many people believe it to be so.
Example: 80% of people are for the death penalty, therefore, the death penalty is moral.
#3. Appeal to Authority: In this fallacious argument, the author claims his argument is right because someone famous or powerful supports it.
Example: We should change the drinking age because Einstein believed that 18 was the proper drinking age.
#4. Begging the Question: This happens when the author’s premise and conclusion say the same thing.
Example: Fashion magazines don’t hurt women’s self esteem because women’s confidence is intact after reading the magazine.
#5. False Dichotomy: This fallacy rests on the assumption that there are only two possible solutions, so disproving one solution means that other solution should be utilized. It ignores other alternative solutions.
Example: “If you want better public schools, you have to raise taxes. If you don’t want to raise taxes, you can’t have better schools.”
#6. Hasty Generalization: Hasty Generalization occurs when the proponent uses too small of a sample size to support a sweeping generalization.
Example: Sally couldn’t find any cute clothes at the boutique and neither could Maura, so the boutique doesn’t have any cute clothes.
#7. Post Hoc/ False Cause: Thisfallacy assumes that correlation equals causation or, in other words, if one event predicts another event it must have also caused the event.
Example: The football team gets better grades than the baseball team, therefore playing football makes you smarter than playing baseball.
#8. Missing the Point: In Missing the Point, the premise of the argument supports a specific conclusion but not the one the author draws.
Example: Antidepressants are overly prescribed which is dangerous, so they should clearly be made illegal.
#9. Spotlight Fallacy: This occurs when the author assumes that the cases that receive the most publicity are the most common cases.
Example: 90% of news reports talk about negative events. Therefore, it follows that 90% of events that occur in the real world are negative.
#10. Straw Man: In this fallacy, the author puts forth one of his opponent’s weaker, less central arguments forward and destroys it, while acting like this argument is the crux of the issue.
Person A: We should relax the laws on beer. Person B: ‘No, any society with unrestricted access to intoxicants loses its work ethic and goes only for immediate gratification.
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