Begging the Question

Taking for granted what is in dispute.  Ex:  Arguing with a Christian on the existence of God - Saying they believe God is a He because they are a Christian.

Denying the Antecedent

The mistake of deducing from 'If p then q' what would indeed follow from 'If and only if p then q.  Also, invalid to argue if p then q, but not p, then not q"

The Naturalistic Fallacy

            Arguing the definition of an object equals the truth of an object.

The But-they-will-never-agree Diversion

            Confound producing a proof with persuading a person.

The But- you-can-understand-why Evasion

Confusing understanding why an action took place as an argument pro/con about the action

The Fallacy of Many Questions

            Making unwarranted assumptions in the questions asked.

Ex1: Asking a single man when he stopped beating his wife

Ex2: Alice in wonderland "How am I to get in? - Footman "Are you to get in at all?  That's the first question, you know."

The Fallacy of Pseudo-refuting Descriptions

The art of labeling an argument in a dismissive fashion being used as an argument in and of itself.  Ex: Labeling an argument as a conspiracy theory without pointing out the errors.

The Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle

"All the particular specimens of any general class may be described as the several tokens of the single type"

The Genetic Fallacy

Arguing that the antecedents of something must be the same as their fulfillment.  Ex: Abortion - arguing that a fetus must really be a person because will become one.

Ex2: Creation arguments that because man is evolved from an ape, he is an ape still.

Subset : appeal to authority The appeal to authority is a fallacy of irrelevance when the authority being cited is not really an authority. E.g., to appeal to Einstein to support a point in religion would be to make an irrelevant appeal to authority.

The Logically-black-is-white Slide

The differences in an argument are one of degree, not kind or principle, therefore it is really non-existent or unimportant.  Edmund Burke " Though no man can draw a stroke between the confines of night and day, still light and darkness are on the whole tolerably distinguishable."

The No-true-Scotsman Move

Avoid admitting that an objection brought against the truth of some proposition to which they are themselves strongly committed does indeed reveal that the proposition, at least as originally understood and maintained, is false.

The Pathetic Fallacy

"Perhaps the simplest and most psychologically satisfying explanation of any observed phenomenon is that it happened that way because someone wanted it to happen that way"

The Heaper

Small steps do not make a great conclusion, i.e., adding one more grain of sand to a sand pile will not turn it into a heap of sand.

The Subject/Motive Shift

Starts by discussing the truth or falsity of some proposition, goes to discussing the motive behind holder's position.  Ex:  Assertion is considered as false because a certain individual has presented it.

The UnAmerican Fallacy

Example: House Committee on Un-American Activities - a person must be a communist form the evidence that he possessed some characteristic perhaps shared by all Communists, but not peculiar to them."

The Whatever-follows-must-be-the-consequence Fallacy

            Cause and effect taken to extreme. -

The Masked Man Fallacy

It consists of arguing that because someone knows (or does not know) something under one description; therefore, they must know it (or therefore they cannot know it) as the same thing under another description.  Ex: morning star = evening star = Venus.

The Gambler's Fallacy

The gambler's fallacy is the mistaken notion that the odds for something with a fixed probability increase or decrease depending upon recent occurrences.

Begging The Question

Begging the question is what one does in an argument when one assumes what one claims to be proving.  Ex: We know God exists because we can see the perfect order of His Creation, an order which demonstrates supernatural intelligence in its design.

Argument From Ignorance (Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam)

The argument from ignorance is a logical fallacy of irrelevance occurring when one claims that something is true only because it hasn't been proved false, or that something is false only because it has not been proved true.

The Clustering Illusion

The clustering illusion is the intuition that random events which occur in clusters are not really random events.

The Divine Fallacy

The divine fallacy is a species of non sequitur reasoning which goes something like this: I can't figure this out, so God must have done it. Or, This is amazing; therefore, God did it. Or, I can't think of any other explanation; therefore, God did it. Or, this is just too weird; so, God is behind it.

Post Hoc Fallacy

The post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy is based upon the mistaken notion that simply because one thing happens after another, the first event was a cause of the second event. Post hoc reasoning is the basis for many superstitions and erroneous beliefs.  Ex1: A solar eclipse occurs so you beat your drums to make the gods spit back the sun. The sun returns, proving to you the efficacy of your action  Ex2: You have a headache so you stand on your head and six hours later your headache goes away.

The Regressive Fallacy

The regressive fallacy is the failure to take into account natural and inevitable fluctuations of things when ascribing causes to them.

The Pragmatic Fallacy

The pragmatic fallacy is committed when one argues that something is true because of the practical benefits of believing that it is true. In fact, the utility of a belief is independent of its truth-value.

Communal Reinforcement Effect

Communal reinforcement is the process by which a claim becomes a strong belief through repeated assertion by members of a community. The process is independent of whether or not the claim has been properly researched or is supported by empirical data

The Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is the measurable or observable effect on a person or group that has been given a placebo treatment.

A placebo is an inert substance, or "fake" surgery or therapy, used as a control in an experiment or given to a patient for its possible or probable beneficial effect. Why an inert substance, a so-called "sugar pill," or a fake surgery or therapy would be effective, is not completely known.


However, it may be that much of the placebo effect is not a matter of mind over molecules, but of mind over behavior. A part of the behavior of a "sick" person is learned. So is part of the behavior of a person in pain. In short, there is a certain amount of role-playing by ill or hurt people. Role-playing is not the same as faking, of course. We are not talking about malingering here. The behavior of sick or injured persons is socially and culturally based to some extent. The placebo effect may be a measurement of changed behavior affected by a belief in the treatment. The changed behavior includes a change in attitude, in what one says about how one feels, and how one acts. It may also affect one's body chemistry.