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Posts Tagged ‘informal logical fallacy’

Wishful Thinking

October 8th, 2009 Comments off

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Wishful Thinking

classification : informal – Red Herring – Appeal to Emotion

Believing something because of a desire – wish – that it be true. As a logical fallacy, Wishful Thinking is an argument whose premise expresses a desire for the conclusion to be true.

Foundations

A reasoner who suggests that a claim is true, or false, merely because he or she strongly hopes it is, is committing the fallacy of wishful thinking. Wishing something is true is not a relevant reason for claiming that it is actually true.

Examples

There’s got to be an error here in the history book. It says Thomas Jefferson had slaves. He was our best president, and a good president would never do such a thing. That would be awful.

Other Names

Appeal to Consequences
Emotional Appeal
Negative proof
Argument from ignorance
Cognitive Dissonance
Defense Mechanisms
Pygmalion Effect

Categories: Logic

Prejudicial Language

September 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Prejudicial Language

classification : informal – appeals to motive in place of support

Loaded or emotive terms are used to attach value or moral goodness to enhance believability of an otherwise unfounded proposition.

Foundations

Disagreeing with the conclusion does not make one “wrong thinking” or “unreasonable”.

Examples

A reasonable person would agree that our income is too low.

I’ve found typographical errors in your poem, so the poem is neither inspired nor perceptive.

Other Names

Stacked Deck

Loaded Language

variant imagization

Categories: Logic

Appeal To Popularity

September 22nd, 2009 Comments off

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

Appeal to Consequences

September 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Appeal To Consequences (argumentum ad consequentiam)

classification : informal – appeals to motive in place of support

A premise that is either true or false based on whether such premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences.

Foundations

A fallacy for the simple reason that wanting something to be true does not make it true. An appeal to consequences argument is an attempt to motivate belief to the level of fact.

Examples

If that’s true, then your life has no meaning.

It can never happen to me. If I believed it could, I could never sleep soundly at night.

Other Names

Wishful Thinking

Pascal’s Wager

Categories: Logic

Appeal To Force

September 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Appeal To Force (argumentum ad baculum)

classification : informal – appeals to motive in place of support

Arguing that unpleasant consequences will follow if someone fails to agree with an argument.

Foundations

An argument where force, coercion, or the threat of force, is given as a justification for a conclusion. You are never given any reason for believing – instead you are given a reason to comply. It is a specific case of the negative form of an argument to the consequences.

Examples

I support the war: if I did not, I would be ostracized from the community.

You had better agree that the new company policy is the best if you expect to keep your job.

Other Names

Sledgehammer Fallacy

Argument through intimidation

Appeal to the stick

One-Sidedness

scare tactics

strong-arm methods

Categories: Logic