Fallacies in Argumentation
Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation
There are different kinds of logical fallacies that people make in presenting their positions. Below is a list of some of the major fallacies. It is a good idea to be familiar with them so you can point them out in a discussion, thereby focusing the issues where they belong while exposing error.
It is true that during a debate on an issue, if you simply point out to your “opponent” a logical fallacy that he/she has just made, it generally gives you the upper hand. But then, merely having the upper hand is not the goal: truth is. Nevertheless, logical fallacies hide the truth, so pointing them out is very useful.
- Ad hominem – Attacking the individual instead of the argument.
- Example: You are so stupid your argument couldn’t possibly be true.
- Example: I figured that you couldn’t possibly get it right, so I ignored your comment.
- Appeal to force - Telling the hearer that something bad will happen to him if he does not accept the argument.
- Example: If you don’t want to get beaten up, you will agree with what I say.
- Example: Convert or die.
- Appeal to pity – Urging the hearer to accept the argument based upon an appeal to emotions, sympathy, etc.
- Example: You owe me big time because I really stuck my neck out for you.
- Example: Oh come on, I’ve been sick. That’s why I missed the deadline.