1. If P then Q2. P____________∴ Q
1. If it rains, the street will be wet.2. It rained.______________________________∴ The street is wet.
1. If P then Q2. Q___________∴ P
If it rains, the street will be wetThe street is wet.____________________________∴ It rained.
- one or more of the laws or propositions from which the fallacy attempts to deduce the conclusion is actually incorrect (e.g., “The world is flat, and the world is finite, so if I sail West far enough I will fall off it”);
- one premise may not actually follow from another (e.g., “The world is round, and India is to the East, so if I sail west far enough the first thing I reach will be India”).
“It is undeniable that, as Aristotle states, a person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death.”
1. If a philosopher makes a statement about life, it is correct.2. Aristotle states that a person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death.__________________________________________________________________∴ A person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death
“Aristotle states that a person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death. I completely agree with this.”
1. If I agree with a statement it is correct.2. Aristotle states that a person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death.3. I agree with Aristotle.____________________________________________________∴ A person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death
“As Aristotle also argues, because happiness is the work of a whole lifetime, and because it must include all goods, such as professional success, material wealth, physical and mental health, a loving family, a variety of trustworthy friends and successful children (and grandchildren), then we can say that a person’s level of happiness can only be judged after a completed life, that is, after a person’s death.”
3. Straw Man – misrepresenting an argument as a “false target” through misunderstanding or exaggeration, e.g.:
“Aristotle states that a person’s level of happiness can only be judged after their death. Therefore, according to Aristotle, if we die, we will become happy. Therefore Aristotle must have believed in heaven but not in hell, which is rather silly.”
1. Aristotle states that happiness requires a completed life.2. Aristotle means that after people die, they become happy.3. Dead people can only be happy in heaven.________________________________________________∴ Aristotle believed in heaven but not hell
Although x is true, it does not follow that + fsIt is not the case that because [x is true], [y is true].This leads to the x fallacy, in which + fsThis argument suffers from the x fallacy, in which + fsThe x fallacy occurs when + fsIt is a/n x fallacy to argue that + fs because + fsThe fallacy behind this argument is a/n x, because + fsThis argument is based on the x fallacy, because + fsA commits the x fallacy when s/he argues that + fsThe x fallacy is the failure to take in to account that + fsThis argument is based on the common x fallacy that + fs
- Explanation of formal vs. informal fallacies from the Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/wi-phi/critical-thinking/v/formal-informal-fallacy
- A (long) list of formal and informal fallacies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies
- Fun resource with some informal fallacies popular in the media and public debate: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/