F A L L A C I E S

F A L L A C I E S

Fallacies of Distraction
Fallacies of Distraction involve the misuse of logical operators–or, not, if-then, and–which distract the reader away from realizing an apparent falsity within the text.

False Dilemma (misuse of “or”)
Argument from Ignorance (misuse of “not”)
Slippery Slope (misuse of “if-then”)
Complex Question (misuse of “and”)

Appeals to Motives in Place of Support
The fallacies in this category are without reasons for belief and tend to appeal to the emotions or other psychological factors of their readers.

Appeal to Force
Appeal to Pity
Appeal to Consequences
Prejudicial Language
Appeal to Popularity

Changing the Subject
The fallacies in this category target the person making the argument rather than the issue being argued.

Attacking the Person
Appeal to Authority
Anonymous Authorities
Style over Substance.

Inductive Fallacies
The fallacies in this category are assumptions about a whole from properties of a part. Although statistical sampling is a means of reasoning the composition of a whole, no sample is a perfect representation of its whole.

Hasty Generalization
Unrepresentative Sample
False Analogy
Slothful Induction
Fallacy of Exclusion

Fallacies Involving Statistical Syllogisms
The fallacies in this category are assumptions about a part or even a whole that are made from statistical syllogisms, such as “most,” as in “Most teachers know how to teach,” or “generally,” as in “Students are generally good learners.” However, no syllogism is actually necessary to engage in this fallacy. For example, “People like to get haircuts.”

Accident
Converse Accident.

Causal Fallacies
The fallacies in this category are assumptions about conclusions that are based on their causes. In other words, we can make a mistake in assumming that if cause A occurs, conclusion B will occur also–such as if students are handed textbooks, then they will read them.

Post Hoc
Joint Effect
Insignificant
Wrong Direction
Complex Cause

Missing the Point
The fallacies in this category are false assumptions that fail to prove that a conclusion is true.

Begging the Question
Irrelevant Conclusion
Straw Man

Fallacies of Ambiguity
The fallacies in this category involve using a word or phrase unclearly (ambiguously or vaguely).

Equivocation (Using the same term in two different ways)
Amphiboly (Two different interpretations)
Accent (what is actually said isn’t what is actually meant)

Category Errors
The fallacies in this category occur when one thinks the sum of all the parts fits into a gestalt.

Composition (The whole does not necessarily have the properties of its parts)
Division (The parts do not necessarily have the properties of the whole)

Non-Sequitur
The fallacies in this category occur as a result of invalid arguments.

Affirming the Consequent
Denying the Antecedent
Inconsistency

Syllogistic Fallacies
The fallacies in this category occur as a result of invalid categorical syllogisms.

Fallacy of Four Terms: a syllogism has four terms
Undistributed Middle
Illicit Major
Illicit Minor
Fallacy of Exclusive Premises: a syllogism has two negative premises
Fallacy of Drawing an Affirmative Conclusion From a Negative Premise
Existential Fallacy: a particular conclusion is drawn from universal premises

Fallacies of Explanation
The fallacies in this category refer to errors in making explanations.

Subverted Support (The phenomenon being explained doesn’t exist)
Non-support (Evidence for the phenomenon being explained is biased)
Untestability (The theory which explains cannot be tested)
Limited Scope (The theory which explains can only explain one thing)
Limited Depth (The theory which explains does not appeal to underlying causes)

Fallacies of Definition
The fallacies in this category refer to errors in defining words or concepts.

Too Broad (The definition includes items which should not be included)
Too Narrow (The definition does not include all the items which shouls be included)
Failure to Elucidate (The definition is more difficult to understand)
Circular Definition (The definition includes the term being defined as a part of the definition)
Conflicting Conditions (The definition is self-contradictory)
Fallacies of Faulty Reasoning
false analogy
compares two things that are not alike in significant respects or have critical points of difference
hasty generalization
draws a conclusion about a class based on too few or atypical examples
false cause
post hoc
mistakes temporal succession for causal sequence
single cause fallacies
occurs when an advocate attributes only one cause to a complex problem
slippery slope
assumes, without evidence, that a given event is the first in a series of steps that will lead inevitably to some outcome.