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# A logical fallacy is an error of reasoning. It either has

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Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 1556
A logical fallacy is an error of reasoning. It either has  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 21 Dec 2006, 13:48
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A logical fallacy is an error of reasoning. It either has an error in the logical structure of deduction (formal fallacy), or is falsely inducted from one or more of its premises (informal fallacy).

I will list a few common fallacies here.

Questionable Cause
Circular reasoning
In the fallacy of circular reasoning, you assume to be true what you are supposed to be proving.
This product is the best because it is better than any other products.
A more complicated example:
A: This product is perfect.
B: But there is an article in yesterdayâ€™s newspaper saying that there is a defect in this product.
A: That article must be wrong. How could a perfect product have a defect?

Post hoc reasoning
Also called false cause reasoning. It argues because A preceded B, therefore A caused B.
All plants that survive in metal soils produce histidine. Histidine must be the reason that they can survive the harmful soil.
My red shirt is lucky. Every time I wear it in a soccer game my team wins.

A related fallacy is called Gamblers fallacy:
An argument that assumes that a departure from what occurs on average or in the long term will be corrected in the short term.
In a coin toss experiment, the result for the first five throw is head. Therefore we have a very high probability of getting a tail in the six throw.

Slippery slope
An argument that falsely assume that one thing must lead to another.
Company A has been growing much faster than company B in the past five years. Soon A will surpass B.
You can never give anyone a break. If you do, they'll walk all over you.

A question constructed in such a way that agreement or disagreement with one term seems to imply agreement with the second.
Are you going to admit that youâ€™re wrong?
Have you enjoyed spoiling the dinner for everybody?

Informal Relevance Fallacy
Argument by authority
An argument that bases the judgment of an assertion on the source of the assertion.
This medicine is effective because my doctor said so.
A related fallacy is sometimes called Personal attack, in which one dispute an argument based on the source of the argument.
Jerry recommended this milk. But I distrust Jerry. So I wonâ€™t buy this milk.

Appeal to common belief
A fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it.
Since 60% of the people polled believed in the Bible, the Bible must be true.
Fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong.
Doctors recommended this medicine than any other medicine. You should buy it.
Brand X vacuums are the leading brand in America. You should buy Brand X vacuums.

A similar type of fallacy is Appeal to tradition:
A common logical fallacy in which someone proclaims his or her accuracy by noting that "this is how it's always been done."
This is right because we've always done it this way.
Your invention is a bad idea because it has no historical precedent.

Argument from ignorance
A logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or that a premise is false only because it has not been proven true.
Nobody has seen it. It could not have happened.

Itâ€™s similar to Shifting the Burden of Proof
The God exist. Unless you can prove that the God doesnâ€™t exist, you have to accept it as the truth.

Itâ€™s also similar to Argument from incredulity
What he said is very hard to believe. It simply cannot be true.

Faulty Generalization
Hasty generalization
An argument that bases a generalization on insufficient number of instances.
The weather must be perfect in San Diego all the time. Iâ€™ve been there several times, and the sky was always blue and the temperature ideal.
Three of my patients have been harmed by this vaccine. It must be unsafe.

A reverse type of fallacy is Sweeping generalization, which applies a general rule to a specific case.
Our GMAT class has raised the participants an average of 100 points in their GMAT scores. You had a GMAT score of 600 and have taken our class. You will score 700 in your next attempt for sure.

Biased sample
The conclusion is drawn based on a biased sample that is not representative of the entire population.
I canâ€™t believe our restaurant isnâ€™t the best in town. All our regular customers love us.

Propositional Fallacies
the fallacy of the alternative disjunct
A or B
A
Therefore not B
Number x belongs to a set that contains numbers that are multiples of 2 or 3. It is a multiple of 2, therefore it must not be a multiple of 3.

Affirming the consequent
If P, then Q.
Q.
Therefore, P.
All humans are mortal. Meow is mortal. She must be a human. (She could be a cat.)

Argument from fallacy
If A then B
Not A
Therefore not B
I close my eyes when Iâ€™m sleeping. Iâ€™m not sleeping, so my eyes must not be closed.
When I was little I was told that an Angel always pushes a dropped pencil down to the floor. Now I know that angels do not exist. Therefore a pencil will never drop down to the floor.

Originally posted by HongHu on 21 Dec 2006, 13:06.
Last edited by HongHu on 21 Dec 2006, 13:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 789

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29 Dec 2006, 08:34
4
Thanks for starting this post HongHu. I found this in another part of this forum that I think best belongs here.
Attachments

logical_fallacies.doc [86 KiB]

SVP
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 1556

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30 Dec 2006, 01:01
2
That's great! Thanks hsampath!

here is a more detailed coverage of Logical Fallacies
Attachments

fallacies.pdf [603.23 KiB]

Manager
Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 116
Re: Logical Fallacies - help on CR and AWA  [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2009, 10:19
Commendable effort HongHu...Thank you..
Manager
Joined: 22 Dec 2009
Posts: 236
Re: Logical Fallacies - help on CR and AWA  [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2010, 05:31
Perfect Master piece!!! Thanks HongHu and others!

Cheers!
JT
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Joined: 01 Oct 2013
Posts: 7785
Re: A logical fallacy is an error of reasoning. It either has  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2019, 13:15
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Re: A logical fallacy is an error of reasoning. It either has   [#permalink] 02 Nov 2019, 13:15
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