Fallacy

In informal logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually an error in reasoning often due to a misconception or a presumption. Some so-called fallacies are not rhetorically intended to appeal to reason but rather to emotion, or a more nuanced disposition. An informal analysis of rhetorical patterns in fallacies should not be confused with rigorously formal arguments in logic, because rationally persuasive arguments require neither to be successful.

Though often used unintentionally, so-called fallacies can be used purposefully to win arguments. Such rhetorical devices, discussed in more detail below, are: "ignoring the question" to divert argument to unrelated issues using a red herring; making the argument personal (argumentum ad hominem) and discrediting the opposition's character, "begging the question" (petitio principi), the use of the non-sequitur, false cause and effect (post hoc ergo propter hoc), bandwagoning (everyone says so), the "false dilemma" or "either-or fallacy" in which the situation is oversimplified, "card-stacking" or selective use of facts, "false equivalence", and "false analogy". Another common device is the "false generalization", an abstraction of the argument that shifts discussion to platitudes where the facts of the matter are lost. There are many more tricks to divert attention from careful exploration of a subject.

A well defined formal fallacy, logical fallacy or deductive fallacy, is typically called an invalid argument. An informal fallacy is argument that may fail to be rationally persuasive.

Read more about Fallacy:  Deductive Fallacy, Material Fallacies, Verbal Fallacies, Other Systems of Classification

Other articles related to "fallacy":

Chemophobia - Fallacy
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Politician's Syllogism
... The politician's syllogism, also known as the politician's logic or the politician's fallacy, is a logical fallacy of the form We must do something This is something Therefore, we must do ... The politician's fallacy was identified in a 1988 episode of the BBC television political sitcom Yes, Prime Minister titled "Power to the People", and has taken added life ... labeled AAA-2 among syllogisms, commits the fallacy of the undistributed middle it says nothing about all things having four legs (the middle term) and thus the conclusion cannot logically follow ...
Shotgun Argumentation - Informal Fallacies - Faulty Generalizations
... Hasty generalization (fallacy of insufficient statistics, fallacy of insufficient sample, fallacy of the lonely fact, leaping to a conclusion, hasty induction, secundum quid, converse ... Pathetic fallacy – when an inanimate object is declared to have characteristics of animate objects ...
Confusion Of The Inverse
... Confusion of the inverse, also called the conditional probability fallacy or the inverse fallacy, is a logical fallacy whereupon a conditional probability is equivocated with its inverse That is, given two ...
Shotgun Argumentation - Conditional or Questionable Fallacies
... Broken window fallacy – an argument which disregards lost opportunity costs (typically non-obvious, difficult to determine or otherwise hidden) associated with ... Definist fallacy – involves the confusion between two notions by defining one in terms of the other ... Naturalistic fallacy – attempts to prove a claim about ethics by appealing to a definition of the term "good" in terms of either one or more claims about ...

Famous quotes containing the word fallacy:

    It would be a fallacy to deduce that the slow writer necessarily comes up with superior work. There seems to be scant relationship between prolificness and quality.
    Fannie Hurst (1889–1968)

    I’m not afraid of facts, I welcome facts but a congeries of facts is not equivalent to an idea. This is the essential fallacy of the so-called “scientific” mind. People who mistake facts for ideas are incomplete thinkers; they are gossips.
    Cynthia Ozick (b. 1928)