Logical fallacies are arguments that are weak and really
can not stand. They are easily identified and rebutted if
you know what you are looking for.
Logical Fallacies are…
Missing the point
Appeal to authority
Ad hominem and tu
Appeal to pity
Appeal to ignorance
Begging the question
You make a hasty generalization when you judge an entire
group of people based on a stereotype that is based on
only a small population.
Perhaps when you think of a librarian, you picture a straight-laced, boring
old woman in glasses?This is a hasty generalization. Not all librarians are
like that, but we stereotype them based on a few who are!
Ask yourself about these things:
Are you relying on the opinions of only a few people?
Does the speaker or writer refer to “all” or “none”-
extremes in their argument?
Are the examples in the argument only referring to a
few examples, rather than an entire group or piece of
If your answer isYes to any or all of these
questions, you may be seeing a hasty generalzation.
Finding a hasty generalization
The argument given supports a particular conclusion
(X), but not the one the arguer hopes to address (Y). If
some one wants to prove their point, but they don’t know
how to, they use this argument then add their idea to the
end of the argument.
The neighborhood is getting run down. It must be
because of all the aliens who moved in over the
Missing the point
• Does the evidence actually support the argument?
• Look at why the neighborhood actually is run down. Is
it really because of aliens or maybe there are other
reasons like the buildings are old, no one cleans things
• Does the alien theory really support the argument or is
it meant to throw us off what the real problems are
because the speaker hasn’t got a clue?
Find this fallacy
This is a popular argument that when translated from
Latin means after this or therefore, because of this…
• Also known as If….then arguments
• If this happens , then it is because of that. (It may not
have anything to do with why something happens.)
• Example: Mary borrowed Scott’s I Pad II.The I Pad II no
longer works, therefore, Mary broke it.
• Mary may not have had a thing to do with why the I
Pad II no longer works, but it is an argument used by
many people in many situations.
Post Hoc (aka false cause)
Ask yourself this:
• If something happens, is it really caused by what the
person argues? Are they really sick because they ate
doodle bugs or is it just that they actually have the flu?
• Does the fact that something follows something else,
prove that A caused B? If not, then this is a Post Hoc
Finding the error…
The person arguing states that some consequence will
happen, but he has no way to support the claim. He asserts that
if we take a step on a particular path, then we will slide down
that “slippery slope”
Example: If we ban smoking, then people will start taking soft
drugs and then move onto hard drugs, and the crime rate will go
up and up. We should therefore prevent crime by allowing smoking
The argument does not make logical sense and needs to be
used in emotional situations where not much logic is needed.
Is this a realistic conclusion based on the arguments given or
does it sound too far reaching to actually become a reality? Let’s
break down the argument:
If we ban smoking…then will people REALLY start taking soft
drugs, will they then begin committing crimes?
If the logic is faulty, then you can not make a rational
connection between the problem and the solution.
If Rob likes Ashley, and Gerri likes Ashley,
then Rob will also like Gerri.
We use analogies to compare unlike things to make a
connection to an idea in literature, and in arguments
alike. When the argument uses a false analogy, it does not
necessarily compare things that connect in a way.
A. Dogs chase cats.
B. Cats chase mice.
C.Therefore, dogs chase mice.
See? Not necessarily the logical conclusion. A is related to
B ; B is related to C, but A is not related to C.
To argue with appeal to authority, drop the
name of a person supporting your claim
even if the person is not really an
authority on the subject.
Example: We should all support the green movement;
People like Mr. Greene support it as well.
The reality is, Mr. Greene is not an expert in
Green energy. In fact, he is the local
Appeal to Authority
• Does the person referred to actually know about the
subject you are arguing?
• Does the person have a specialized degree or
certification in the area being argued?
• If the person cited has no expertise in the area, then
this is a faulty appeal to authority.
• E = MC2
This argument appeals to one’s desire to be
popular, or one of the “in crowd”. It is similar to
Bandwagon because the arguer is trying to get
you to be one of the majority, when, in fact, there
may not really be a majority.
Example: Everyone who bought the KIA love it.
• Can I make my own decisions without asking every one
else what they think?
• Is this what I really think/believe?
• Do I decide based on what other people think, say or
• If you can’t think for yourself and make an informed
decision, then you are a prime target for Ad Populum
or Bandwagon fallacies.
This literally means against the person. In our terms, it is
just a way of slinging mud or character assassination.
Example: Charlotte is not the best person for the job
because she is a mean, selfish person.
This argument does nothing to show whether Charlotte is
experienced or knowledgeable about the position for
which she is being considered. Instead, it attacks her
• Focus on the reasoning of the argument, not the
• If a person’s character is truly known to be horrible by
the general public, then you should pay some attention
to the argument, but do not base your conclusion
solely on it.
• We all learned that Bill Clinton loves the ladies, but
whether he is a good speaker has nothing to do with
that. However, if you want him to speak at your local
Faithful Spouses meeting, you may wish to choose
This appeal plays on our emotions
and asks us to accept an
argument based on pity for some
one or something.
See the example opposite.
Appeal to Pity
• Are you in agreement with the argument because of
personal feelings?Then think about what the arguer is
asking you to believe.
• We all have causes that we believe in, but we do not
have to act on every whim of emotion all the time.
• You do not have to buy Pillsbury crescent rolls to feel
like you are at home.
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