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Appeal To Popularity

September 22nd, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Appeal To Popularity (argumentum ad populum)

classification : informal – appeals to motive in place of support

A proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true — predominately, by those of great authority.

Foundations

The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim. More formally, the fact that most people have favorable emotions associated with the claim is substituted in place of actual evidence for the claim. A person falls prey to this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other people approve of the claim.

Examples

Everyone knows that the Earth is flat, so why do you persist in your outlandish claims?

Smoking is a healthy pastime, since millions of people do it.

Other Names

Appeal to the masses

Appeal to belief

Appeal to the majority

Appeal to democracy

Argument by consensus

Consensus fallacy

Authority of the many

Appeal to Emotion

Bandwagon fallacy

Categories: Logic
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