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Fallacies Of Relevance

September 22nd, 2009

Fallacies of Relevance

classification : informal

Informal fallacies of defective inductive reasoning include two that could be called pure fallacies of relevance:

Wrong Conclusion — an argument whose conclusion(s) are not warranted by assumptions, facts, or construct.

Red Herring — a specious argument made to confuse or complicate.


Fallacies of relevance offer evidence that has no bearing on the truth of the conclusion. In order to prove a conclusion true, evidence must offered to support it.


A legislator is trying to argue the merits of her welfare reform bill. Instead of talking about the specific points in the bill, she bases her presentation on the premise that “every American is entitled to a decent standard of living.” While the last point may be true, it does not logically make the case that the bill in question will lead to the desired outcome.

Other Names

Fallacy of the Irrefutable Hypothesis

Included Fallacies

Appeal to Ignorance

Appeal to Emotion

Inappropriate Appeal to Authority

Personal Attack ( Ad Hominem )

Appeals to Prejudice ( Non Sequitur )

Appeal to Force

Irrelevant Conclusion

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