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Fallacies from “Love is a Fallacy” (and additional fallacy handout)
Fallacy: A mistaken or illogical idea; error in reason
Logic: The science of thinking
Dicto Simpliciter: an argument based on an unqualified generalization. “Exercise is good.
Therefore, everyone should exercise.” (Heart patients shouldn’t exercise)
Hasty Generalization: too few instances to support the conclusion. (Nobody on camopus
speaks French.)
Post Hoc: “Let’s not take Bill on our picnic. Every time we take him it rains. Bill has no
connection to the weather.
Contradictory Premesis: “If God can do anything, can he make a stone so heavy he can’t lift
it?” there can be no argument when the premises contradict each other..
Ad Misericordian: Appeal to someone’s sympathy or pity to avoid the question. (My wife is
aripple, the children are hungry…)
False Analogy: Comparing two different situations and making an analogy. The situations must
be camparable.
Hypothesis Contrary to Fact: Starting with a false hypotheses and drawing conclusions.
“Madam Curie’s discovery of radium would not have happened if she hadn’t left the
photographic plate with pitch blende out.”
Poisoning the Well: Tainting an argument before it has begun.. (First man calls a second man a
liar before he gets to say anything.)
Begging the Question: Assuming the premise is true without evidence. “Have your parents quit
making all of your decisions for you?”
Slippery Slope: Arguing that one event will lead to another which will lead to another. “If I
don’t study I’ll fail the class, have to drop out of high school and get married young!”
Ad Populum: Appeal to the crowd. Using popular opinion to support an argument.
Ad Homein: Attacking the person instead of attacking the argument the person is making.
Ignoring the Question: Arguing something else (Changing the subject.)
Non Sequitar: Does not necessarily follow. (A man is a good husband because he does not beat
his wife.)