Fallacies are mistaken beliefs based on unsound arguments. They derive from reasoning that is logically incorrect, thus undermining an argument's validity.
There are many different types of fallacies, and their variations are almost endless. Given their extensive nature, we've curated a list of common fallacies so you'll be able to develop sound conclusions yourself, and quickly identify fallacies in others' writings and speeches.
Here are some common examples of fallacies:
Appeal to Authority - These fallacies occur when someone accepts a truth on blind faith just because someone they admire said it.
Appeal to Ignorance - These fallacies occur when someone asserts a claim that must be accepted because no one else can prove otherwise.
Appeal to Pity - These fallacies occur when someone seeks to gain acceptance by pointing out an unfortunate consequence that befalls them.
Begging the Question - Also called Circular Reasoning. This type of fallacy occurs when the conclusion of an argument is assumed in the phrasing of the question itself.
False Dilemma - These fallacies occur when someone is only given two choices for possible alternatives when more than two exist.
Red Herring - These fallacies occur when someone uses irrelevant information to distract from the argument.
Slippery Slope - These fallacies occur when someone assumes a very small action will lead to extreme outcomes.
Straw Man Fallacy - These fallacies occur when someone appears to be refuting the original point made, but is actually arguing a point that wasn't initially made.
Sweeping Generalizations - These fallacies occur when a very broad application is applied to a single premise.
Ad Hominem (Attacking the Person) - These fallacies occur when an acceptance or rejection of a concept is rejected based on its source, not its merit.
Band Wagon - These fallacies occur when a proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because many people believe it to be so.
Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - These fallacies occur when it is assumed that, because two things occur together, they must be related.
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - These fallacies occur when it is assumed that, because one thing happened after another, it must have occurred as a result of it.
Now that we've examined some common errors in reasoning, we hope you'll be better equipped to recognize them when they come your way. In your future writings or debates, we hope this will serve as a guidepost to make sure you don't fall into similar trappings. Good luck!
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