Argumentation and Debate

Hasty Generalization

Jumping to Conclusions. Drawing Conclusions based on insufficient evidence.

False Dichotomies

Either/ or Fallacy. Arguments are oversimplified, present limiting options at the expense of other possible alternatives.

False Cause ( Post Hoc)

The Fallacy that one thing causes another when there is no sufficient causal relationship between them.

Slippery Slope (Domino Fallacy)

Scare Tactic. If we allow one thing to happen, that will set off a chain of events that will have disastrous consequences.

Attacking the Person (Ad Hominem)

Attacks a persons character rather than a persons ideas.

Red Herring

Provides irrelevant and misleading support that pulls the audience away from the real argument.

Straw Man

The attacker distorts or misrepresents what an opponent has claimed, and then attacks that misrepresentation.

Appeal to Authority

Supporting a conclusion based on the testimony of an unqualified or unreliable expert.

Appeal to Force

Error is committed when one relies on force or the threat of force to gain acceptance for a claim.

Appeal to Ignorance

One concludes that a claim is true solely on grounds that no one has shown its negation is true.

Appeal to Public Opinion (Bandwagon Fallacy)

The arguer associates his/her views with what is popular rather then giving good reasons to support his/her claim.

Appeal to Tradition

What has exhisted for a long time and has therefore become a tradition should continue to exist because it is a tradition.

Appeal to Pity

Uses sympathy or pity of audience to gain acceptance for a conclusion.

5 Tests of Evidence


Argument from Cause

A claim that an event or condition is the cause for another event or condition.

Argument from Analogy

A comparison of something with which we are familiar with something with which we are less familiar.

Argument from Example

The use of a single case to support a general claim.

The Pragmatic Argument

Recommends or discourages a course of action on the basis of it consequences.

Argument from Principle

Affirms that we should abide by values, principles, and duties.

Argument from Quantity

Expresses a preference for numerical considerations.

Argument from Quality

Expresses a preference for the Unique, the rare, the good, etc.

The Genetic Argument

Claims that origin reveals essential nature.

Argument from Function

Attribute function to object, institutions, or people