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Logical Fallacies

According to VirtueScience there are a definite set number of logical fallacies that form a symmetrical matrix of ordered concepts. This page is not that ordered but offers merely the raw ingredients for deeper work.

Understanding the logical fallacies helps us to purify and uplift the intellect which has a beneficial effect on all other parts of the self.

Fallacies of Distraction

False Dilemma: two choices are given when in fact there are three options.
From Ignorance: because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false
Slippery Slope: a series of increasingly unacceptable consequences is drawn
Complex Question: two unrelated points are conjoined as a single proposition


Appeals to Motives in Place of Support
Appeal to Force: the reader is persuaded to agree by force
Appeal to Pity: the reader is persuaded to agree by sympathy
Consequences: the reader is warned of unacceptable consequences
Prejudicial Language: value or moral goodness is attached to believing the author
Popularity: a proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true


Changing the Subject
Attacking the Person: the person's character is attacked, the person's circumstances are noted, the person does not practise what is preached
Appeal to Authority: the authority is not an expert in the field, experts in the field disagree, the authority was joking, drunk, or in some other way not being serious
Anonymous Authority: the authority in question is not named
Style Over Substance: the manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented is felt to affect the truth of the conclusion


Inductive Fallacies
Hasty Generalization: the sample is too small to support an inductive generalization about a population
Unrepresentative Sample: the sample is unrepresentative of the sample as a whole
False Analogy: the two objects or events being compared are relevantly dissimilar
Slothful Induction: the conclusion of a strong inductive argument is denied despite the evidence to the contrary
Fallacy of Exclusion: evidence which would change the outcome of an inductive argument is excluded from consideration


Fallacies Involving Statistical Syllogisms
Accident: a generalization is applied when circumstances suggest that there should be an exception
Converse Accident: an exception is applied in circumstances where a generalization should apply


Causal Fallacies
Post Hoc: because one thing follows another, it is held to cause the other
Joint effect: one thing is held to cause another when in fact they are both the joint effects of an underlying cause
Insignificant: one thing is held to cause another, and it does, but it is insignificant compared to other causes of the effect
Wrong Direction: the direction between cause and effect is reversed
Complex Cause: the cause identified is only a part of the entire cause of the effect


Missing the Point
Begging the Question: the truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises
Irrelevant Conclusion: an argument in defense of one conclusion instead proves a different conclusion
Straw Man: the author attacks an argument different from (and weaker than) the opposition's best argument


Fallacies of Ambiguity
Equivocation: the same term is used with two different meanings
Amphiboly: the structure of a sentence allows two different interpretations
Accent: the emphasis on a word or phrase suggests a meaning contrary to what the sentence actually says


Category Errors
Composition: because the attributes of the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued that the whole has that property
Division: because the whole has a certain property, it is argued that the parts have that property


Non Sequitur
Affirming the Consequent: any argument of the form: If A then B, B, therefore A
Denying the Antecedent: any argument of the form: If A then B, Not A, thus Not B
Inconsistency: asserting that contrary or contradictory statements are both true


Syllogistic Errors
Fallacy of Four Terms: a syllogism has four terms
Undistributed Middle: two separate categories are said to be connected because they share a common property
Illicit Major: the predicate of the conclusion talks about all of something, but the premises only mention some cases of the term in the predicate
Illicit Minor: the subject of the conclusion talks about all of something, but the premises only mention some cases of the term in the subject
Exclusive Premises: a syllogism has two negative premises
Negative Premise, Affirmative Conclusion: Affirmative Conclusion From Negative Premise
Existential Fallacy: a particular conclusion is drawn from universal premises


Fallacies of Explanation
Subverted Support: The phenomenon being explained doesn't exist
Non-support: Evidence for the phenomenon being explained is biased
Untestability: The theory which explains cannot be tested
Limited Scope: The theory which explains can only explain one thing
Limited Depth: The theory which explains does not appeal to underlying causes


Fallacies of Definition
Too Broad The definition includes items which should not be included
Too Narrow The definition does not include all the items which should be included
Failure to Elucidate The definition is more difficult to understand than the word or concept being defined
Circular Definition The definition includes the term being defined as a part of the definition
Conflicting Conditions The definition is self-contradictory


Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning. Have you examined your own deeply held beliefs to see if they arise from incorrect reasoning? If so the very realization will help free you and refine your belief structure so that it more accurately reflects reality.

You are here: Index location Conceptual Science location Logical Fallacies
Results for logic

Logic, Deductive and Inductive (Classic Reprint)
by Carveth ReadSearch for Carveth Read
$10.91
$9.82 new/used

Nature into departments for the convenience of study, has been one of the chief conditions of scientific progress. It is true that such separation is made for our convenience and does not exist inN ature. Yet it has been the means of revealing the unity of Nature, the connection of facts, the harmony of laws: analysis has been the necessary preliminary to an intelligent synthesis. No further apology need be offered for the separation of Logic, in the present volume, from all other studies, and especially from Psychology and Metaphysics, with greater vigour than has been usual in logical treatises :carrying out the plan that elsewhere has always proved advantageous. The instructed reader will easily see that I have been chiefly indebted toM ills System of Logic, Professor Bain sL ogic, Dr. Venn sE mpirical Logic, and Dr. Keyne sF ormal Logic. Whatever is due to other authors has been acknowledged as occasion arose. In every case I have tried to make the property conveyed my own: an excuse for theft that must seem odd to a lawyer, but is well recognised in the courts of literature. For the comprehensive study of contemporary opinion on Logic, several books besides the above-mentioned are needed: especially Mr. Bradley sP rinciples of Logic, Mr. Alfred Sidgwick sP rocess of A rgument, and Mr. Bosanquet sL ogic: or theM orphology of Knowledge. The last authors Essentials of Logic is expressly intended to popularise his views. Mr. Hobhouse sT heory of Knowledge, an original and valuable treatise, did not come into my hands until this book was finished (now some time ago): else, probably, I should often have referred to it.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, History, Folklore and Mythology.

Forgotten Books' Classic Rep
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Introduction to Logic
by Harry J. GenslerSearch for Harry J. Gensler
$49.95
$24.54 new/used

Introduction to Logic combines likely the broadest scope of any logic textbook available with clear, concise writing and interesting examples and arguments.  Its key features, all retained in the Second Edition, include:


? simpler ways to test arguments than those available in competing textbooks, including the star test for syllogisms
? a wide scope of materials, making it suitable for introductory logic courses (as the primary text) or intermediate classes (as the primary or supplementary book)
? engaging and easy-to-understand examples and arguments, drawn from everyday life as well as from the great philosophers
? a suitability for self-study and for preparation for standardized tests, like the LSAT
? a reasonable price (a third of the cost of many competitors)
? exercises that correspond to the LogiCola program, which may be downloaded for free from the web.


This Second Edition also:


? arranges chapters in a more useful way for students, starting with the easiest material and then gradually increasing in difficulty
? provides an even broader scope with new chapters on the history of logic, deviant logic, and the philosophy of logic
? expands the section on informal fallacies
? includes a more exhaustive index and a new appendix on suggested further readings
? updates the LogiCola instructional program, which is now more visually attractive as well as easier to download, install, update, and use.


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A Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett Student Handbooks)
by Anthony WestonSearch for Anthony Weston
$11.00
$5.89 new/used

A Rulebook for Arguments is a succinct introduction to the art of writing and assessing arguments, organized around specific rules, each illustrated and explained soundly but briefly. This widely popular primer--translated into eight languages--remains the first choice in all disciplines for writers who seek straightforward guidance about how to assess arguments and how to cogently construct them.

The fourth edition offers a revamped and more tightly focused approach to extended arguments, a new chapter on oral arguments, and updated examples and topics throughout.


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An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
by Ali AlmossawiSearch for Ali Almossawi
$14.95
$7.83 new/used

?A flawless compendium of flaws.? ?Alice Roberts, PhD, anatomist, writer, and presenter of The Incredible Human Journey

The antidote to fuzzy thinking, with furry animals!

Have you read (or stumbled into) one too many irrational online debates? Ali Almossawi certainly had, so he wrote An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments! This handy guide is here to bring the internet age a much-needed dose of old-school logic (really old-school, a la Aristotle).

Here are cogent explanations of the straw man fallacy, the slippery slope argument, the ad hominem attack, and other common attempts at reasoning that actually fall short?plus a beautifully drawn menagerie of animals who (adorably) commit every logical faux pas. Rabbit thinks a strange light in the sky must be a UFO because no one can prove otherwise (the appeal to ignorance). And Lion doesn?t believe that gas emissions harm the planet because, if that were true, he wouldn?t like the result (the argument from consequences).

Once you learn to recognize these abuses of reason, they start to crop up everywhere from congressional debate to YouTube comments?which makes this geek-chic book a must for anyone in the habit of holding opinions.



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Challenging Logic Puzzles (MensaŽ)
by Barry R ClarkeSearch for Barry R Clarke
$6.95
$0.01 new/used

So, you think you've got the brain-power to tackle tough logic puzzles? Well, try this extraordinary assortment of challenges, including Mix-and-Match logic puzzles and "Find the Liar" type puzzles. Some puzzles have tables that can be used to deduce relationships between people or items, some use word-play to present the problem, and still others use illustrations to highlight the challenge. Whatever their form, each is designed to stretch your mind to the max. And the level of difficulty increases as you move through the book, concluding with a series so diabolical, even the most expert puzzle sleuths may have to beg for mercy! Fortunately, solutions for every puzzle are included, along with explanations of how the answers are determined, so you'll even be able to build your puzzle-solving skills.

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A Concise Introduction to Logic
by Patrick J. HurleySearch for Patrick J. Hurley
$168.95
$103.00 new/used

Unsurpassed for its clarity and comprehensiveness, Hurley's A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC is the #1 introductory logic book on the market. In this Twelfth Edition, Hurley continues to build upon the tradition of a lucid, focused, and accessible presentation of the basic subject matter of logic, both formal and informal. The edition's new Previews connect a section's content to real-life scenarios, using everyday examples to "translate" new notions and terms into concepts that readers unfamiliar with the subject matter can relate to. An extensive, carefully sequenced collection of exercises guides readers toward greater proficiency with the skills they are learning.
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Logic Made Easy: How to Know When Language Deceives You
by Deborah J. BennettSearch for Deborah J. Bennett
$15.95
$4.81 new/used

"The best introduction to logic you will find."?Martin Gardner

"Professor Bennett entertains as she instructs," writes Publishers Weekly about the penetrating yet practical Logic Made Easy. This brilliantly clear and gratifyingly concise treatment of the ancient Greek discipline identifies the illogical in everything from street signs to tax forms. Complete with puzzles you can try yourself, Logic Made Easy invites readers to identify and ultimately remedy logical slips in everyday life. Designed with dozens of visual examples, the book guides you through those hair-raising times when logic is at odds with our language and common sense. Logic Made Easy is indeed one of those rare books that will actually make you a more logical human being. 36 illustrations.
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Logic: A Very Short Introduction
by Graham PriestSearch for Graham Priest
$11.95
$3.30 new/used

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
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Logic For Dummies
by Mark ZegarelliSearch for Mark Zegarelli
$19.99
$3.76 new/used

Logic concepts are more mainstream than you may realize. There's logic every place you look and in almost everything you do, from deciding which shirt to buy to asking your boss for a raise, and even to watching television, where themes of such shows as CSI and Numbers incorporate a variety of logistical studies. Logic For Dummies explains a vast array of logical concepts and processes in easy-to-understand language that make everything clear to you, whether you're a college student of a student of life. You'll find out about:* Formal Logic* Syllogisms* Constructing proofs and refutations* Propositional and predicate logic* Modal and fuzzy logic* Symbolic logic* Deductive and inductive reasoning Logic For Dummies tracks an introductory logic course at the college level. Concrete, real-world examples help you understand each concept you encounter, while fully worked out proofs and fun logic problems encourage you students to apply what you've learned.
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Introduction to Logic: and to the Methodology of Deductive Sciences (Dover Books on Mathematics)
by Alfred TarskiSearch for Alfred Tarski
$12.95
$5.40 new/used

This classic undergraduate treatment examines the deductive method in its first part and explores applications of logic and methodology in constructing mathematical theories in its second part. A thought-provoking introduction to the fundamentals and the perfect adjunct to courses in logic and the foundations of mathematics. Exercises appear throughout.

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