Saturday, July 8, 2017

Logical Fallacies Cheat Sheet

Critical reasoning is the most important skill an individual can master. Logic is the foundation of critical thinking. Logical fallacies are the most commonly found errors in debate. It behooves us, therefore, to be intimately familiar with the forms of logical fallacy so that our faculties are better equipped to properly evaluate logical assertions, both in our own critical thinking and in debate with others. Here is a quick reference guide (cheat sheet) of logical fallacies#JUMPBREAK#, slightly reorganized, from [[http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/|informationisbeautiful.net]]. I hope it is as useful to you as it has been to me. In my opinion, this is not the usual cheat sheet that you refer to when you have the occasion to need it, but rather a compact reference guide that you should refer to often, without needing it, until the information is memorized and internalized. And here's a description of the fallacies presented: = Appeals to the Mind * **Appeal to Anonymous Authority**: Using evidence from an unnamed expert, study, or generalized group to claim something is true * **Appeal to Authority**: Claiming something is true because an unqualified expert says it is * **Appeal to Common Practice**: Claiming something is true or good because it's commonplace * **Appeal to Ignorance**: Claiming something is true because it has not been proven false (or vice versa) * **Appeal to Incredulity**: Claiming something is false because it seems unbelievable or implausible * **Appeal to Money**: Supposing that wealth or expensiveness affects the truth of a claim * **Appeal to Novelty**: Supposing something is better because it is new or newer * **Appeal to Popular Belief**: Claiming something is true because a majority of people believe it * **Appeal to Probability**: Assuming because something could happen, it will inevitably happen * **Appeal to Tradition**: Claiming something is true because it has occurred or been true in the past = Appeals to Emotions * **Appeal to Consequences of a Belief**: Arguing a belief is false because it implies something you'd rather not believe * **Appeal to Fear**: Arguing by invoking fear or prejudice towards the opposing side * **Appeal to Flattery**: Using a compliment to hide an unfounded claim * **Appeal to Nature**: Drawing a comparision to the natural world as a standard * **Appeal to Pity**: Arguing by invoking sympathy or empathy * **Appeal to Ridicule**: Presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear absurd * **Appeal to Spite**: Dismissing a claim by way of personal bias against the claimant * **Appeal to Wishful Thinking**: Claiming something is true because it is desirable = Faulty Deductions * **Anecdotal Evidence**: Claiming something is true on the basis of isolated incidents * **Composition**: Assuming that characteristics or beliefs of members of a group apply to the entire group * **Division**: Assuming that characteristics or beliefs of a group automatically apply to an individual member * **Design Fallacy**: Claiming something is true because it is well-designed or aesthetically pleasing * **Gambler's Fallacy**: Predicting future outcomes on the basis of unrelated or independent past events * **Hasty Generalization**: Drawing a general conclusion from an inappropriately small sample * **Jumping to Conclusions**: Drawing a quick conclusion without considering relevant and readily-available evidence * **Middle Ground**: Assuming that because two opposing arguments have merit, the answer must lie between them * **Perfectionist Fallacy**: Rejecting an imperfect yet adequate solution on the basis of its imperfection * **Relativist Fallacy**: Rejecting a claim or argument because of a belief that truth is relative to a person or group * **Sweeping Generalization**: Applying a general rule too broadly * **Undistributed Middle**: Equating two things because they are similar or share characteristics = Manipulating Content * **Ad Hoc Rescue**: Repeatedly revising an argument to explain away problems * **Begging the Question**: Making a claim that ignores a larger issue * **Biased Generalizing**: Generalizing from an unrepresentative sample * **Confirmation Bias**: Placing heavier weight on evidence that supports a favorable conclusion while ignoring, dismissing, or marginalizing evidence opposing it * **False Dilemma**: Presenting a choice between two options while ignoring or hiding alternatives * **Lie**: A falsehood repeated knowingly as a fact * **Misleading Vividness**: Describing an occurrence in vivid detail, even if it is a rare occurrence, to increase its perceived importance * **Red Herring**: Introducing irrelevant material to the argument to distract or lead towards a different conclusion * **Slippery Slope**: Assuming a small change will lead to a series of related (negative) changes or events * **Suppressed Evidence**: Intentionally failing to acknowledge significant, relevant evidence * **Unfalsifiability**: Offering a claim that cannot be opposed because it cannot be test">tested = Garbled Cause & Effect * **Affirming the Consequent**: Assuming there's only one explanation for something * **Denying the Antecedent**: Assuming that because there is a cause for something, the lack of the cause will result in the lack of the effect * **Circular Logic**: A conclusion derived from a premise based on the conclusion * **Ignoring a Common Cause**: Claiming two things that are correlated must be causal, while ignoring a third event that may have caused both * **Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc**: Claiming two events that occur together must have a cause-and-effect relationship * **Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc** Claiming that because one event followed another, it was also caused by it = On the Attack * **Ad Hominem**: Claiming an argument is invalid by attacking the person making the argument and not the argument itself * **Burden of Proof**: Claiming an argument is true unless it is refuted * **Circumstance Ad Hominem**: Claiming an argument is invalid because of the advocate's interests in their claim * **Genetic Fallacy**: Attacking the cause or original of a claim rather than the claim itself * **Guilt by Association**: Discrediting an idea or claim by associating it with an undesirable person or group * **Straw Man**: Creating a distorted or simplified charicature of your opponent's argument, and the arguing against that misrepresentation