List of Logical Fallacies

What is Abusive Analogy?

The fallacy of abusive analogy is a highly specialized version of the ad hominem argument. Instead o…

What is Accent?

The fallacy of accent depends for its effectiveness on the fact that the meaning of statements can c…

What is Accident?

The fallacy of accident supposes that the freak features of an exceptional case are enough to justif…

What is Affirming the Consequent?

To those who confuse hopelessly the order of horses and carts, affirming the consequent is a fallacy…

What is Amphiboly?

Amphiboly is the fallacy of ambiguous construction. It occurs whenever the whole meaning of a statem…

What is Analogical Fallacy?

The analogical fallacy consists of supposing that things which are similar in one respect must be si…

What is Appeal to tradition?

Students of political philosophy recognize in the argumentum ad antiquitam the central core of the a…

What is Apriorism?

Normally we allow facts to be the test of our principles. When we see what the facts are, we can ret…

What is Argument to the purse?

The argumentum ad crumenam assumes that money is a measure of rightness, and that those with money a…

What is Bifurcation?

The presentation of only two alternatives where others exist is called the fallacy of bifurcation. S…

What is Blinding with Science?

Science enjoys an enormous prestige because it has got so many things right. In the popular imaginat…

What is Circulus In Probando?

Circulus in probando is a specialized and very attractive form of the petitio principii. It consists…

What is Composition?

The fallacy of composition occurs when it is claimed that what is true for individual members of a c…

What is Concealed Quantification?

When statements are made about a class, sometimes they are about all of the members of it, sometimes…

What is Conclusion which Denies Premises?

The conclusion which denies its premises is one of the ‘oh-dear-l-forgot-what-l-started-to-say…

What is Contradictory Premises?

No matter how good the logic may be, you cannot rely on an argument which has certain falsity built …

What is Cum hoc ergo propter hoc?

The cum hoc fallacy assumes that events which occur together are causally connected, and leaves no r…

What is Damning the Alternatives?

In cases where there is a fixed and known set of alternatives, it is legitimate to establish the sup…

What is Definitional Retreat?

A definitional retreat takes place when someone changes the meaning of the words in order to deal wi…

What is Denying the Antecedent?

As with affirming the consequent, the fallacy of denying the antecedent is for those who do not real…

What is Dicto Simpliciter?

Dicto simpliciter is the fallacy of sweeping generalization. It consists of the application of a bro…

What is Division?

The doppelganger of the fallacy of composition is that of division. When we attribute to the individ…

What is Emotional Appeals?

It would be a strange world if none of us were influenced by emotions. This influence steps over the…

What is Equivocation?

Equivocation means using words ambiguously. Often done with intent to deceive, it can even deceive t…

What is Every Schoolboy Knows?

You would be amazed what every schoolboy knows. Anxious to secure acquiescence in their controversia…

What is Ex-post-facto Statistics?

A statistician has been described as someone who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarra…

What is Exception That Proves The Rule?

Exceptions, of course, disprove rules. Despite this, many people confronted by a counter-example to …

What is Exclusive Premises?

The standard three-line argument called a syllogism has two premises and a conclusion; the premises …

What is Existential Fallacy?

It is a curious feature of logic that statements which refer to the whole of a class do not actually…

What is Extensional Pruning?

We are guilty of extensional pruning if we use words in their commonly accepted meaning, but retreat…

What is False Conversion?

False conversion takes place when we deduce from the fact that all cats are animals the additional i…

What is False precision?

False precision is incurred when exact numbers are used for inexact notions. When straightforward st…

What is Gambler’s Fallacy?

Few fallacies are more persistent in gambling circles than the belief that the next toss (or spin, o…

What is Genetic Fallacy?

The genetic fallacy has nothing to do with Darwin or Mendel, but a great deal to do with not liking …

What is Half-Concealed Qualification?

In a half-concealed qualification, the words themselves express a limited claim, but the stress and …

What is Hedging?

Hedging is put around arguments, as it is around fields of crops, to prevent them from being trample…

What is Hominem (abusive), argumentum ad

If you cannot attack the argument, attack the arguer. While an insult itself is not fallacious, it i…

What is Hominem (circumstantial), argumentum ad?

In the argumentum ad hominem circumstantial, the appeal is to the special circumstances of the perso…

What is Ignorantiam, argumentum ad?

Socrates was thought by the oracle to be the wisest man because he alone knew how ignorant he was. T…

What is Ignoratio Elenchi?

Ignoratio elenchi is one of the oldest fallacies known to us, being first identified by Aristotle. W…

What is Illicit Process fallacy?

There is a rule about arguments which tells us that if a term in the conclusion refers to the whole …

What is Irrelevant Humour?

The fallacy of irrelevant humour is committed when jocular material irrelevant to the subject under …

What is Lapidem, argumentum ad?

Bishop Berkeley expressed the view that matter does not exist separately from the perception of it. …

What is Lazarutn, argumentant ad?

The poor may indeed be blessed; but they are not necessarily right. It is a fallacy to suppose that …

What is Loaded Words?

It is possible to influence the outcome of a judgement by the deliberate use of prejudiced terms. Wh…

What is Misericordiam, argumentum ad?

While pity is an admirable human quality, it does not provide the best basis for argument. When we t…

What is Nauseam, argumentum ad?

Simple repetition of a point of view does nothing by way of supplying additional evidence or support…

What is Non-anticipation?

The fallacy of non-anticipation consists of supposing that everything worth doing or saying has alre…

What is Novitam, argumentum ad?

If it is a fallacy to suppose that age is a guide to correctness, it is also fallacious to suppose s…

What is Numeram, argumentum ad?

Not many people like to be out on a limb. Many prefer instead the comfort of solid numbers behind th…

What is One-sided Assessment?

Many of the decisions we are called upon to weigh up have both advantages and drawbacks. The fallacy…

What is Petitio Principii?

The fallacy of petitio principii, otherwise known as ‘begging the question’, occurs when…

What is Poisoning the well fallacy?

The most attractive feature of poisoning the well is that the opposition is discredited before they …

What is Populum, argumentum ad?

The argumentum ad populum appeals to popular attitudes instead of presenting relevant material. In o…

What is Positive conclusion from negative premise?

An argument which draws a conclusion from two premises is not allowed to have two negative premises,…

What is Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

The Latin translates as ‘after this, therefore on account of this’, and it is the fallac…

What is Quaternio terminorum?

Quaternio terminorum is the fallacy of four terms. The standard three-line argument requires that on…

What is Refuting the example fallacy?

Examples are often adduced in support of an argument. When attention is focused on showing the examp…

What is Reification?

The fallacy of reification, also called hypostatization, consists in the supposition that words must…

What is Secundum quid?

The fallacy of secundum quid is otherwise known as the hasty generalization. Whenever a generalizati…

What is Shifting ground fallacy?

People may employ hedging to make their contentions ambiguous, or they may use a definitional retrea…

What is Shifting the burden of proof?

Shifting the burden of proof is a specialized form of the argumentum ad ignorantiam. It consists of …

What is Special pleading fallacy?

Special pleading involves the application of a double standard. Although the normal rules of evidenc…

What is Straw man fallacy?

The straw man of logic does not scare anyone. No self-respecting crow would even rustle a feather at…

What is Temperantlam, argumentum ad?

If fallacies were assigned to the nations of the world, the argumentum ad temperantlam would be allo…

What is Thatcher’s blame?

When the round black hat first appeared it was dubbed a bowler. This was because it looked like a bo…

What is the Bogus Dilemma?

Quite apart from the casual use of the term to describe a difficult choice, the dilemma is also the …

What is the Complex Question?

Plurium interrogationum, which translates as ‘of many questions’, is otherwise known as …

What is The red herring?

When the hounds are intent on following a scent of their own choosing, in preference to that selecte…

What is The Runaway train fallacy?

A runaway train takes you speeding into the distance, but unfortunately does not stop. This means th…

What is The slippery slope fallacy?

Slippery slopes are so tricky to negotiate that even the first timid step upon them sets you sliding…

What is The Undistributed middle fallacy?

Classic among schoolboy fallacies is the argument that because all horses have four legs and all dog…

What is Threat of force?

When reason fails you, appeal to the rod. The argumentum ad baculum introduces force as a means of p…

What is Trivial objections fallacy?

The problem with trivial objections is that they leave the central thesis largely untouched. It is f…

What is Tu quoque?

Tu quoque means ‘you also’, and is committed when a case is undermined by the claim that…

What is Unaccepted enthyrnemes fallacy?

An enthymeme is an argument with one of its stages understood rather than stated. This is all right …

What is Unobtainable perfection fallacy?

When the arguments for and against courses of action are asses-sed, it is important to remember that…

What is Verecundiam, argumentum ad?

This is the appeal to false authority. While it is perfectly in order to cite as a supporting witnes…

What is Wishful thinking fallacy?

While many of us engage quite happily in wishful thinking, we elevate it to the status of a fallacy …