'fa-l&-sEz

Argumentation techniques which are just plain wrong

When it comes to conducting a valuable, and enjoyable, philosophical discussion, it is important to think both clearly and critically.  Clear thinking refers to the process of assessing the authenticity and validity of available information and then constructing logical, rational and supportable arguments (points of view or hypotheses) from that information.  Critical thinking is a process by which we can ensure that arguments (both our own and those of others) are logical, rational and supportable.

In a philosophical discussion it is often crucial to determine whether a point of view or hypothesis has been reached by clear thinking, or is the result of ideological bombast, a misunderstanding or logical error.  For that reason, much emphasis is placed on understanding of, and the ability to identify, fallacies in arguments - including our own.

According to The Philosophical Dictionary a fallacy is: a mistake in reasoning; an argument that fails to provide adequate logical support for the truth of its conclusion, yet appears convincing or persuasive in some other way. Common examples include both formal fallacies (structural errors in deductive logic) and informal fallacies (efforts to persuade by non-rational appeals).

The most common fallacies (also listed below) seem to be ad hominem arguments (wherein the person is attacked rather than their reasoning), begging of questions (circular arguments), appeals to authority (and anti-authority), demolition of straw men and the subset of fallacies called either formal fallacies or syllogistic fallacies.


According to The Philosophical Dictionary formal fallacies include:

According to The Philosophical Dictionary informal fallacies include:

According to wikipedia, logical fallacies include:

2005 Philosophical Channel (neopolitan)

Last update 2005-04-10