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Appeal to Authority Summary

Latin Name: argumentum ad verecundiam (also known as: argument from authority, ipse dixit) Description: Insisting that a claim is true simply because a valid authority or expert on the issue said it was true, without any other supporting evidence offered. Also see the appeal to false authority . Logical Form:… Read More »Appeal to Authority Summary

Appeal to Anger Summary

Latin Name: argumentum ad iram (also known as: appeal to hatred, loathing, appeal to outrage, etc.) Description: When the emotions of anger, hatred, or rage are substituted for evidence in an argument. Logical Forms: Person 1 claims that X is true. Person 1 is outraged. Therefore, X is true. Claim… Read More »Appeal to Anger Summary

Anthropomorphism Summary

(also known as: personification) Description: The attributing of human characteristics and purposes to inanimate objects, animals, plants, or other natural phenomena, or to gods. This becomes a logical fallacy when used within the context of an argument. Logical Form: Non-human thing is described with human characteristics. Claim X is made… Read More »Anthropomorphism Summary

Anonymous Authority Summary

(also known as: appeal to anonymous authority) Description: When an unspecified source is used as evidence for the claim.  This is commonly indicated by phrases such as “They say that…”, “It has been said…”, “I heard that…”, “Studies show…”, or generalized groups such as, “scientists say…”  When we fail to… Read More »Anonymous Authority Summary

Ambiguity Fallacy Summary

(also known as: ambiguous assertion, amphiboly, amphibology, semantical ambiguity, vagueness) Description: When an unclear phrase with multiple definitions is used within the argument; therefore, does not support the conclusion.  Some will say single words count for the ambiguity fallacy, which is really a specific form of a fallacy known as… Read More »Ambiguity Fallacy Summary

Amazing Familiarity Summary

(also known as:  argument from omniscience, “how the hell can you possibly know that?”) Description: The argument contains information that seems impossible to have obtained—like it came from an omniscient author. This kind of writing/storytelling is characteristic of fiction, so when it is used in an argument it should cast… Read More »Amazing Familiarity Summary

Alternative Advance Summary

(also known as: lose-lose situation) Description: When one is presented with just two choices, both of which are essentially the same, just worded differently.  This technique is often used in sales.  Fallacious reasoning would be committed by the person accepting the options as the only options, which would most likely… Read More »Alternative Advance Summary

Alphabet Soup Summary

Description: The deliberate and excessive use of acronyms and abbreviations to appear more knowledgeable in the subject or confuse others. Logical Form: Person 1 uses acronyms and abbreviations. Therefore, person 1 knows what he or she is talking about. Example #1: In programming CGI, a WYSIWYG interface doesn’t handle PHP… Read More »Alphabet Soup Summary

Alleged Certainty Summary

(also known as: assuming the conclusion) Description: Asserting a conclusion without evidence or premises, through a statement that makes the conclusion appear certain when, in fact, it is not. Logical Form: Everybody knows that X is true. Therefore, X is true. Example #1: People everywhere recognize the need to help… Read More »Alleged Certainty Summary