Common Logical Fallacies & How to Spot Them



Here are the different types of fallacies and a brief discussion of each type.

TYPES OF FALLACIES – These are some of the most common fallacies used to build better arguments and understand each type.

A fallacy is “a false or mistaken idea” and there are two types of fallacies – formal and informal. And in an argument, it is important to understand some of the most commonly used types and be able to spot them. Examining and being able to remove their own fallacious argument may help you make a better argument and not be persuaded by faulty logic or fallacious information.

Check out some types under the formal fallacy:

  • Propositional Fallacy
  • Probabilistic Fallacy
  • Syllogistic Fallacy
  • Quantificational Fallacy
  • Bad Reasons Fallacy

Under the informal fallacy:

  • Appeal to Ignorance
  • False Dilemma
  • False Cause
  • Ambiguity
  • Red Herring

Below are some of the commonly used types:

1. Ad Hominem Fallacy

When the argument directs to the person and not to the argument itself resulting in a failure to address what is really the issue. Simply put, the argument of one becomes a personal attack on the other rather than logical.

2. Fallacy of False Cause

This happens when a person confuses the correlation with a cause. This is an argument that tries to establish that point A causes point B – no sufficient proof to the claim.

3. Straw Man Fallacy

This is a misdirection. This happens when a person distorts the view of his opponent and attacks another weak topic rather than the real argument.

4. Appeal to Ignorance

This is also known as the argument from ignorance. This happens when a proposition has not proven to be false, thus, it must be true. It is using the other person’s inability to prove that the claim is unacceptable.

5. Appeal To Emotion

This happens when a person tries to manipulate another person through emotions or when one presents a proposition that evokes feelings rather than the reason

6. Slippery Slope

This occurs when the arguer presents a proposition stating that a step must not be because it will only create a chain of misfortune or consequences. But really, the chain of reactions is unlikely to happen and it has no supporting evidence.

7. Appeal to Popularity

When the arguer presents an idea to be good or true just because it is popular.

8. Appeal to Tradition

Like the appeal to popularity, when the proposition’s basis is the length of time something has been believed instead of the number of people who have believed it.

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