My Fallacies

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    hey are errors

    or mistakes in


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    Committed in aDebate

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    Argumentum ad Hominem

    Attacking a persons characterinstead of the content of thatpersons argument.

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    Examples:Examples:Don't believe anything ohnDon't believe anything ohn

    says!says! he's a nerd."he's a nerd."

    #$he members of the opposition#$he members of the oppositionare a couple of anarchists%"are a couple of anarchists%"

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    &ne of the scientists has beentreated for emotional problems

    so his pessimism about nuclear

    (aste merits no attention.

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    Argumentum ad )gnorantiam

    Concluding thatsomething is true

    since you cant

    prove its false.

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    *od does not e+ist since no one*od does not e+ist since no one

    cancan demonstrate that He doesdemonstrate that He does


    $here is no proof that$here is no proof that(itches do e+ist!(itches do e+ist!

    therefore they do not.therefore they do not.


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    ,obody has ever sho(n me it isfalse that psychic surgery cures

    cancer so ) believe Clara (hen

    she says psychic surgery curedher cancer.

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    Argumentum ad -isericordiam

    Appealing to a personsunfortunate circumstance

    as a (ay of getting

    someone to accept a

    conclusion. He may even

    admit the contention of hisopponent and appeals to

    pity and commiseration.

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    +amples/#0our honor ho( can the prosecution

    dare try to send this poor defenseless

    child to 1ail for the murder of his father

    and mother. Have a heart! the boy isno( an orphan.#

    2lease dont arrest me ) have (ife2lease dont arrest me ) have (ifeand kids to support.and kids to support.

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    Argumentum ad 2opulum

    This fallacy is committed

    when the disputantevades the real issue andappeals to the passion or

    prejudices of his hearers.

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    All of my friends have brandne( cellphones. ) must

    have one as (ell.

    veryoneveryone1ay(alks1ay(alkshere and ashere and as

    long as ) look carefully nothing (illlong as ) look carefully nothing (illhappen.happen.
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    )n a court of la( the1ury

    vote by ma1ority! therefore

    they (ill al(ays make the

    correct decision.
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    Argumentum ad 3erecundiam

    $his fallacy is

    committed (hen thedebater contends that(hat he alleges is valid

    because a person (hocommands respect andreverence supports it.

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    Bruce illis supports !ave the

    hales "nternational# so it must

    $e a good cause.%

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    0ou can believe themoon is covered (ith

    dust because thepresident of the

    2hilippines said so and

    he should kno(.

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    Argumentum ad 4aculum

    $his fallacy is committed (hen the

    debater ignores the real issue and

    appeals to force rather than


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    #2ay back the loan and the 56 7 daily

    interest by $hursday or be sure that

    you have your hospital insurance paidup.#

    $hose (ho (ill support this man$hose (ho (ill support this man(ill be charged of their life%"(ill be charged of their life%"

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    0ou better agree that the ne(

    company policy is the best betif you e+pect to keep your 1ob.

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    Argumentum ad logicam

    $his is arguing that because anargument has been sho(n to befallacious the conclusion reachedmust be false. Fallaciousarguments can arrive at true

    conclusions they 1ust don't provethe conclusions reached.

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    #$ake the fraction 5898:. ,o(

    canceling a si+ on top and a si+ on the

    bottom (e get that 5898: ; 59:.#


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    #$his ne( test seemed so promising

    but the ? studies that supported

    its validity turned out to have

    critical methodological fla(s so the

    test is probably not valid.#

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    4lack @

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    #He is either a pro *-A or a#He is either a pro *-A or a

    pro strada.


    ove football or you are not a


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    Are (e going to vote for a tuition

    fee increase or are (e going to

    allo( our school to deteriorateinto a substandard custodial


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    *enetic Fallacy

    $his fallacy is committed by

    paying too much attention to thegenesis or origin rather then thereasons offered for it.

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    He came from the province. He doesnot kno( -etro -anila.

    #Bure the media claims that the#Bure the media claims that the

    AF2 is corrupt. 4ut (e all kno(AF2 is corrupt. 4ut (e all kno(about the media's credibility don'tabout the media's credibility don't


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    Hasty *eneraliation

    $his fallacy is committed if there isno enough instances to support

    the conclusion.

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    +ample/Bmith (ho is from ngland decides to

    attend graduate school at &hio Btateniversity. He has never been to the Bbefore. $he day after he arrives he is(alking back from an orientationsession and sees t(o (hite Ealbinos=uirrels chasing each other around a

    tree. )n his ne+t letter home he tells hisfamily that American s=uirrels are (hite.

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    Bam is riding her bike in her home to(nin -aine minding her o(n business.

    A station (agon comes up behind her

    and the driver starts beeping his hornand then tries to force her off theroad. As he goes by the driver yells

    #get on the side(alk (here youbelong%# Bam sees that the car has&hio plates and concludes that all

    &hio drivers are 1erks.

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    Hey this car is cheap the

    paint 1ob is good and it isaffordable. ) should buy it.

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    False Analogy

    )t refers to faulty comparison ofpremises on a given argument.

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    $he universe is like an intricate


    $herefore the universe must have$herefore the universe must have

    been designed by some kind ofbeen designed by some kind of


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    False Dilemma

    An argument that suggest only t(o

    possible alternatives neither of

    (hich are typically very appealing.)n fact many other alternatives may


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    #ook you are going to have to make

    up your mind. ither you decide

    that you can afford this stereo oryou decide you are going to do

    (ithout music for a (hile.#

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    Benator ill/ #

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    Dicto Bimpliciter En=ualified

    *eneraliation$his is the fallacy of making a

    s(eeping statement and

    e+pecting it to be true on every

    specific case G in other (ords


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    #Beveral psychics have been found to beplaying tricks. rgo all psychics are

    tricksters.#)t is a general truth that no one should lie.

    $herefore no one should lie if amurderer at the point of a knife asksyou for information you kno( (ould leadto a further murder.

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    ,on G Be=uitor

    Dra(ing a conclusion (hich does not

    follo( the evidence.Example:Example:

    -y shoe lace broke! ) guess its time-y shoe lace broke! ) guess its time

    for me to buy a ne( car."for me to buy a ne( car."

    ) lost my 1ob last (eek so 4ush must) lost my 1ob last (eek so 4ush must

    be a really poor president."be a really poor president."

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    2ost Hoc

    $his fallacy is committed (hen it is

    concluded that one event

    causes another simply because the

    proposed cause occurred before

    the proposed effect.

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    ) had been doing pretty poorly thisseason. $hen my girlfriend gave

    me this neon laces for my spikesand ) (on my ne+t three races.

    $hose laces must be good luck...if

    ) keep on (earing them ) can't helpbut (in%

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    oan is scratched by a cat (hile

    visiting her friend. $(o days

    later she comes do(n (ith a

    fever. oan concludes that the

    cat's scratch must be the cause ofher illness.

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    Argumentum ad udicium

    $he debater ignores the real

    =uestion and maintains that hiscontention is valid because

    people in general believe it to be

    so/ & general $elief cannot $ewrong.

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    A certain niversity (ith

    seven thousand studentsused to advertise in this (ay/

    !even thousand studentscannot $e wrong."

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    Argumentum ad nvidiam

    $he debater ignores the real

    =uestion and inflames hisaudience (ith hatred and


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    &n the proposition/

    esolved $hat FilipinoGapanese trade relations

    be immediately resumed."

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    A negative speaker argued that

    the Filipino people should not

    establish any relation (hatever

    social economic or political (ith

    a race that is cruel and sadistic Ia race (hose bloodGthirsty people

    and army tortured and massacred

    innocent civilians.