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Ad Hominem Appeal to Authority
"Ad hominem" is Latin for "against the man". An appeal to an authority is an argument that
The ad hominem fallacy is the fallacy of attempts to establish its conclusion by citing a
attacking the person offering an argument perceived authority who claims that the
rather than the argument itself. conclusion is true.
Ad hominems can simply take the form of In all cases, appeals to authority are fallacious
abuse: e.g. "don't listen to him, he's a jerk". no matter how wellrespected someone is, it is
Any attack on irrelevant biographical details possible for them to make a mistake. The mere
of the arguer rather than on his argument fact that someone says that something is true
counts as an ad hominem. therefore doesn't prove that it is true.
The worst kinds of appeal to authority, however,
are those where the alleged authority isn't an
authority on the subject matter in question.
People speaking outside of their area of
expertise certainly aren't to be trusted on
matters of any importance without further
"You can trust me I wouldn't lie to you."
"Darwin's theory of evolution is false my
pastor says so."
Correlation not Causation Appeal to Popularity
The correlation not causation fallacy is The appeal to popularity fallacy is the fallacy of
committed when one reasons that just because arguing that because lots of people believe
two things are found together (i.e. are something it must be true. Popular opinion is not
correlated) there must be a direct causal always a good guide to truth even ideas that
connection between them. Often arguments of
this kind seem compelling, but it's important to are widely accepted can be false.
consider other possible explanations before
concluding that one thing must have caused
At the start of the 2006 Premiership season, "Pretty much everyone believes in some kind of
some might have argued, "Under Jose higher power, be it God or something else.
Mourinho, Chelsea have been unstoppable in Therefore atheism is false."
the Premiership the other teams might as well
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Circularity Confusing Necessary and
Circular arguments are arguments that Sufficient Conditions
assume what they're trying to prove. If the
Necessary conditions are conditions which must
conclusion of an argument is also one of its
be fulfilled in order for an event to come about.
reasons, then the argument is circular.
It is impossible for an event to occur unless the
The problem with arguments of this kind is necessary conditions for it are fulfilled. For
that they don't get you anywhere.…read more
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Appeal to History
There are two types of appeal to history. The
first is committed by arguments that use past
cases as a guide to the future. This is the
predictive appeal to history fallacy. Just
because something has been the case to date,
doesn't mean that it will continue to be the