The Fallacy Detective Flashcards


Red Herring-Introducing something irrelevant into an argument, avoiding the question

Porcupines make good pets. Studies show owning a pet makes Children happy!

Special Pleading-When someone uses a double standard or argues for an unjustified exception

Most people shouldn't rob banks, but I'm an exception. I need the money!

Ad Hominem--Attacking a person's character or motives instead of disproving the argument

Don't vote for my opponent: he's a liar

Genetic Fallacy--Making a judgement based on where, or from whom something came

You disagree with the idea of women in the military just because of your conservative upbringing

Tu Quoque--dismissing someone's viewpoint on an issue because he himself is inconsistent in that very thing

FRED: Smoking cigarettes is a bad habit
TOM: Don't tell me not to smoke. You do it too

Fault Appeal to Authority--an appeal to someone who has no special knowledge in the area being discussed

My uncle says you shouldn't spank kids. He says it's ineffective

Appeal to the People--When it's claimed that your viewpoint is correct because many other people agree with it

Every developed nation in the world has strict controls on firearms except America

Straw Man--Changing or exaggerating an opponent's position to make it easier to refute

Abortion opponents want to limit women's rights

Circular Reasoning--An argument which says 'P" is true because "Q" is true, and Q is true because P is true

Girls are smarter because scientists have proven it. We know the scientists are right because they are girls, and girls are smarter

Equivocation--Changes the meaning of a word in the middle of an argument

Interpreting "man-made" as meaning women didn't make it

Loaded Question--When someone asks two questions, but one is hidden behind the other

So, when are you going to make the new Ford your first car?

Slippery Slope-- assumes that if we take one step, nothing will stop us from taking a series of steps because each step is the same

--Look in Lesson 18

Part to Whole--someone says that what is true of part of something must also be true of the whole thing

Ex-Read Lesson 19 to see all the examples

Whole to Part--someone says that what is true of something as a whole just aslo be true of each of its parts

Read Lesson 20 for examples

Either Or--asserting that we must choose between two things, when in fact we have more than two alternatives

Either wear a mask or you hate other people

Hasty Generalization--generalizing about a class based upon a small sample

Look at Lesson 23