Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Description of Logical Fallacies

A Logical Fallacy is an error within a logical argument that is a flaw in the argument’s structure that is said to invalidate the argument. A logical fallacy is independent of the truth so a fallacy does not necessarily invalidate the argument's premises and conclusions. However arguments derived from logical fallacies often do lead to an incorrect conclusion due to faulty reasoning.


Ad hominem
Latin: “To the Man”
It is an argument that attacks people holding a particular point of view rather than attacking the point of view itself. A good example is the case where an opponent starts insulting you in some manner rather than countering your argument.

It is an argument which makes a statement so broad as to exceed the original point that was trying to be proved. Often it involves taking a small sample and generalizing it to the whole group.

Non sequitur
Latin: "It does not follow"
It is an argument which moves from a premise to a conclusion where no connection exists between the two.

Proof by authority
It is an argument which is based on a person's authority, rather than on the merits of the authority's position. A good example is a argument is assumed correct because it comes from a person with a PHD.

Proof by assertion
It is an argument which simply states something as true without evidence or argument to support it.

Circular reasoning
It is an argument that tries to prove something by first asserting it and then trying to "prove" it.

Straw man
It is an argument where a person argues against a position similar to but weaker than their opponent’s real position.

Manufacturing facts from a theory
It is an undemonstrated or unobserved idea that is stated as fact because it agrees with a particular theory.

Your theory does not work under my theory, so your theory must be wrong
It is a form of circular reasoning where the person tries to disprove a point of view by interpreting the facts through a different point of view.

There are many more logical fallacies avoid them.

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