Logical Fallacies List

 

A

Ad Antiquitatem (Appeal to Tradition)

Ad Baculum (Appeal to Force)

Ad Hominem (Verbal Attack or Insult)

Ad Hominem Tu Quoque (Personal Inconsistency)

Ad Ignorantium (Argument from Ignorance)

Ad Metum (Appeal to Fear) – this makes me feel uncomfortable, therefore it’s not true.

Ad Misericordiam (Appeal to Pity)

Ad Nauseum (Repetition of One’s Point)

Ad Novitam (Appeal to Novelty) – newer is better.

Ad Numeram (Appeal to Common Practice)

Argumentum Ad Populum aka Bandwagon Fallacy – appeal to common belief.

Ad Ridiculum (Appeal to Ridicule) – mocking the other person’s claim.

Ad Verecundiam (Appeal to Authority)

Affirming the Consequent – If A then B. B is true, so A is true.

Alleged Certainty (Assertion) – What I say is true because I say it’s true.

Amphiboly (Ambiguous Grammar)

Appeal to Authority (Referencing an “Expert”)

Appeal to Belief – if one believes it to be true, it must be true.

Appeal to Common Belief – if others believe it to be true, it must be true.

Appeal to Common Practice – if others do it, it must be ok to do it too.

Appeal to Consequences of a Belief – wishful thinking.

Appeal to Emotion – if it feels good, it must be true.

Appeal to Flattery – make them feel good.

Appeal to Pity – going for the sympathy vote.

Appeal to Spite – play on their negative feelings for others.

Appeal to Tradition – it has always been done this way, so this way is right.

Appeal to Trust – Trust me. I’m a doctor.

B

Begging the Question – circular reasoning to prove assumed premise.

Biased Sample – referencing a study or group of people which have overt biases.

Bifurcation (False Dilemma)

Butterfly Logic

C

Canceling Hypotheses (Conspiracy Theory)

Chicken and Egg argument

Circulus in Demonstrando (Circular Reasoning)

Complex Question – two questions, one answer allowed.

Composition – generalizing from a few to the whole set.

Converse Accident (Hasty Generalization)

D

Denying the Antecedent – if A then B. A is false, so B is false.

Dicto Simpliciter (Accident) – a general rule or observation is treated as universally true regardless of the circumstances or the individuals concerned.

Division (False Division) – assuming the parts have the characteristics of the whole.

E

Ecological fallacy – conclusion about individual from group data.

Exception fallacy – conclusions about group from individual data.

Equivocation: A single word with more than one meaning.

Excluded Middle Fallacy (Splitting) – only extreme views are valid.

F

Fallacy of Accent (Emphasis) – a type of ambiguity that arises when the meaning of a word or sentence is changed by placing an unusual prosodic stress, or when, in a written passage, it is left unclear which word the emphasis was supposed to fall on.

Fallacy of Exclusion (Unrepresentative Sample) – what is true about any sample is also true about the population.

False Analogy – X has property of Y. Z is similar to X. So Z has the property of Y.

False Cause – A causes B (but no proof).

False Compromise – extreme views are wrong. The middle way is right.

 

False Dichotomy (False Dilemma) – choice is A or B. Rejecting A is selecting B. Rejecting B is selecting A.

False Effect: A is assumed to cause B. B is proven wrong, so A is wrong.

False Metaphor: see False Analogy

False Question: see Complex Question

Faulty Induction: see Composition

Faulty Deduction: see Division

Four Terms: All A is B. All C is D. So all A is D.

From Ignorance: see Argument from ignorance

G

Gambler’s Fallacy: Chance can be predicted.

Generalization: see Composition

H

Hasty Generalization: Generalizing from too-small a sample.

Hasty Induction: see Hasty Generalization

Hypostatisation: see Reification

I

Ignorance of Refutation: see Missing the Point

Ignoratio Elenchi: see Missing the Point

Illicit Major: All X is Y. No P (which is a subset of Y) is X. Therefore no P is Y.

Illicit Minor: All X are Y. All X are P. Therefore all P are Y.

In a Certain Respect and Simply: Extending assumed boundaries too far.

Inconsistency: see Logical Inconsistency

Inductive Generalization: see Hasty Generalization

Insignificance: Making a minor cause seem major.

Insufficient Sample: see Hasty Generalization

Insufficient Statistics: see Hasty Generalization

In Terrorem: see Appeal to Fear

Irrelevant Conclusion: see Missing the Point

L

Leaping to Conclusion: see Hasty Generalization

Loaded Question: see Complex Question

Logical Inconsistency: Arguments that contradict one another.

Lonely Fact: see Hasty Generalization

M

Many Questions: overloading them with lots of questions.

Misleading Vividness: a memorable few events prove high probability.

Misplaced Concreteness: see Reification

Missing the Point: Drawing the wrong conclusion.

N

Nagging: see Repetition

Non Causa Pro Causa: see False Effect

Non Sequitur: See Affirming the Consequent, Denying the Antecedent or Missing the Point.

P

Petitio Principii: see Begging the Question

Personal Inconsistency: Past words or deeds do not match claim.

Plurium Interrogationum: see Many Questions

Poisoning the Well: Discrediting the person before they speak.

Polarization: see Excluded Middle

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc (False Cause) – Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.

Q

Questionable Cause: see False Cause

R

Reasoning in a Circle: see Begging the Question

Red Herring – distracting with an irrelevancy.

Reductio ad Absurdum – a false X is silly, so X is true.

Reification (Concretism) – treating something that is not concrete, such as an idea as concrete reality.

Repetition – repeating something makes it more true.

S

Scare Tactics: see Appeal to Fear

Secundum quid et simpliciter: see In a Certain Respect and Simply

Slippery Slope (Absurd Extrapolation)

Social Conformance: Agree with me or be socially isolated.

Splitting the Difference: see False Compromise

Statistical Generalization: see Hasty Generalization

Strawman: Attack a weak argument used by the other person.

Style over Substance: An attractive presentation makes it more right.

Sweeping Generalization: see Accident

U

Undistributed Middle: All A is B. All C is B. Therefore all C is A.

V

Value of Community: see Appeal to Common Belief

W

Weak Analogy: see False Analogy

Wishful Thinking: A is true because I want it to be true.

Y

You too: See Personal Inconsistency