- a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.
- a failure in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.
- faulty reasoning; misleading or unsound argument.
Fallacies are connected to the different appeals: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.
Appealing to ethos or pathos is not in itself a fallacy, only appealing to them or using them unethically is. Here is an example of a fallacy used to persuade.
Fallacies are not necessarily wrong, they work very well and are very good at persuading people. Fallacies are considered unethical and so we try to avoid them. They are thought of as flaws in thought, tricks, and sneaky uses of persuasion to convince others.
- Scare Tactics
- False Dichotomy
- Slippery Slope
- Sentimental Appeals
- Bandwagon Appeals
- False Authority
- Moral Equivocation
- Ad Hominem
- Hasty Generalizations
- Faulty Causality
- Begging the Question
- Non Sequitur
- Straw Man
- Faulty Analogy
- Red Herring
- Appeal to Ignorance
Emotional Fallacies (Pathos)
Scare Tactics – Scaring people and exaggerating dangers. Also known as fear mongering.
Either-or Choices / False Dichotomy – Oversimplification to only two choices.
Slippery Slope – Exaggerating the consequences of an action.
Sentimental Appeals – Excessive emotion intended to distract.
Bandwagon Appeals – Follow the path of everyone else.
Ethical Fallacies (Ethos)
False Authority – Offering yourself or other authorities as sufficient evidence.
Dogmatism – persuade by assuming a position based in biblical passages.
Moral Equivocation – suggesting that serious wrongdoings do not differ from minor ones.
Ad Hominem (At the person) – Attacks directed at character instead of the claims or argument.
Logical Fallacies (Logos)
Hasty Generalizations – conclusions drawn from insufficient evidence. Jumping to conclusions. The most common fallacy you will encounter.
Hasty Generalization example
Faulty Causality – assuming because one event happened after another, the first causes the second.
Begging the Question – a form of circular logic. an argument based on claims that cannot be accepted as true.
Equivocation – the use of ambiguous language to conceal the truth or to avoid committing oneself.
Non Sequitur – an argument in which claims, reasons, or warrants fail to connect logically.
The Straw Man – Misrepresenting an argument in order to knock it down. Arguing something that is not really there.
Faulty Analogy – An extended comparison that is inaccurate or inconsequential.
Red Herring – Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.
Critical Thinking Review
In small groups, come up with the most helpful lessons, readings, discussions, activities, etc. from the first half.
Tell us the activity and how it was helpful. Come up with 3 or 4.
- Essay 2 Rough Draft