Name that fallacy

Ever wonder how to name a false argument or an illogical statement? Here is list of fallacies that are often used in debate and thought that obscures truth.

  1. Ad Hominem      – Attacking the individual instead of the argument.
  2. Appeal to Force      – Telling the hearer that something bad will happen to him if he does not accept the argument.
  3. Appeal to Pity      – Urging the hearer to accept the argument based upon an appeal to emotions,  sympathy, etc.
  4. Appeal to the      Popular – Urging the hearer to accept a position because a majority of people hold to it.
  5. Appeal to Tradition      – Trying to get someone to accept something because it has been done or believed for a long time.
  6. Begging the      Question – Assuming the thing to be true that you are trying to prove. It is circular.
  7. Cause and Effect      – Assuming that the effect is related to a cause because the events occur together.
  8. Circular Argument      – See Begging the Question
  9. Fallacy of      Division – Assuming that what is true of the whole is true for the parts.
  10. Fallacy of      Equivocation – Using the same term in an argument in different places but the word has different meanings.
  11. False Dilemma      – Giving two choices when in actuality there could be more choices possible.
  12. Genetic Fallacy      – Attempting to endorse or disqualify a claim because of the origin or irrelevant history of the claim.
  13. Guilt by Association      – Rejecting an argument or claim because the person proposing it likes someone whom is disliked by another.
  14. Non Sequitur      – Comments or information that do not logically follow from a premise or the conclusion.
  15. Poisoning the      Well – Presenting negative information about a person before he/she speaks so as to discredit the person’s argument.
  16. Red Herring      – Introducing a topic not related to the subject at hand.
  17. Special Pleading      (double standard) – Applying a standard to another that is different from a standard applied to oneself.
  18. Straw Man Argument      – Producing an argument about a weaker representation of the truth and attacking it.
  19. Category Mistake      – Attributing a property to something that could not possibly have that property. Attributing facts of one kind are attributed to another kind. Attributing to one category that which can only be properly attributed to another.

For examples of each fallacy, read more at, or look up the fallacy by name and search for examples.


Original article by Matt Slick, Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation, CARM,

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