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Logical Fallacies


Match each fallacy with the example that best fits its description.

Ad hominem or ATTACKING THE PERSON All men are rats! Just look at the louse that I married
Ad ignorantium or APPEAL TO IGNORANCE You can't prove there isn't a Loch Ness Monster, so there must be one
Ad verecundiam or APPEAL TO AUTHORITY Mary joined our class and the next week we all did poorly on the quiz. It must be her fault.
AFFIRMING THE CONSEQUENT If he wants to get that job, then he must know Spanish. He knows Spanish, so the job is his.
AMPHIBOLY Those who favor gun-control legislation just want to take all guns away from responsible citizens and put them into the hands of the criminals
APPEAL TO EMOTION We realize that workers are idle during the period of lay-offs. But the government should never subsidize idleness, which has often been condemned as a vice. Therefore, payments to laid off workers are wrong
ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY or FALSE ANALOGY We all know women should obey their husbands. After all, marriage vows contained those words for centuries
BEGGING THE QUESTION (Circular Argument) If President Bush had not gone into the Persian Gulf with military force when he did, Saddam Hussein would control the world's oil from Saudi Arabia today.
SLIPPERY SLOPE In 1972, there was a widely-printed advertisement printed by the Foulke Fur Co., which was in reaction to the frequent protests against the killing of Alaskan seals for the making of fancy furs. According to the advertisement, clubbing the seals was one of the great conservation stories of our history, a mere exercise in wildlife management, because "biologists believe a healthier colony is a controlled colony."
COMMON BELIEF  Jim said he saw Jenny walk her dog through the window. Ow! She should be reported for animal abuse
PAST BELIEF I am sure that Karen plays the piano well, since her family is so musical
CONTRARY TO FACT HYPOTHESIS “America, love it or leave it.” (The implication is, since you don’t love it the only option is to leave it).
DENYING THE ANTECEDENT Supporters of apartheid are often guilty of this error in reasoning. They point to U.S. practices of slavery to justify their system
DIVISION If she qualifies for a promotion, she must speak English. She doesn’t qualify for the promotion, so she must not know how to speak English.
COMPOSITION A waterfall in the background and a beautiful girl in the foreground have nothing to do with an automobile's performance
FALSE DILEMMA  The Dawson clan must be rolling in money, since Fred Dawson makes a lot from his practice
EQUIVOCATION A woman who represents herself as a feminist, yet doesn’t believe women should run for Congress
HASTY GENERALIZATION We can't allow students any voice in decision making on campus; if we do, it won't be long before they are in total control.
POST HOC, ERGO PROPTER HOC The African-American church was set afire after the civil rights meeting last night; therefore, it must have been done by the leader and the minister to cast suspicion on the local segregationists
INCONSISTENCY I can't believe how much money is being poured into the space program (suggesting that 'poured' means heedless and unnecessary spending)
NON SEQUITUR : John's objections to capital punishment carry no weight since he is a convicted felon.
QUESTIONABLE CAUSE I can't find the checkbook; I am sure that my husband hid it so I couldn't go shopping today.
STRAW MAN This must be a great car, for, like the finest watches in the world, it was made in Switzerland
TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT Of course the Bible is the word of God. Why? Because God says so in the Bible.
SLANTING Of course Nixon was guilty in Watergate. Everybody knows that
FAR-FETCHED HYPOTHESIS Sports stars selling cars or hamburgers. Or, the actor on a TV commercial that says, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."

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