10 Common Logical Fallacies

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.

Begging the Question

#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.”

False Dichotomy Star Wars


#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.Post Hoc False Cause


#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.Missing the Point



#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.straw-man-informal-logical-fallacy-full