Library Blog

Don’t Be Duped

Have you ever been duped by faulty logic used by a politician, public speaker, co-worker, or friend? Probably.

Unfortunately, fallacious arguments are commonplace and we’ve all likely been both taken in by or even used bad arguments ourselves without realizing it. That’s because fallacious arguments aren’t always easy to spot. Sometimes they seem quite convincing until we examine them further.

To help you spot bad arguments, we’ve made a series of videos to help you get to know some common forms bad arguments take. These common forms are called “logical fallacies.”

Each video in the series defines one common fallacy and gives practical examples of the fallacy at work.

Fallacies covered in the series include:

  • The Ad Hominem Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when he attacks the person instead of his argument. Remember: name-calling does not constitute an argument.
  • The Guilt by Association Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when she dismisses an argument by linking it to someone bad. The problem is, even “bad” people can make good arguments.
  • The Appealing to Ignorance Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when he tries to support his case with a lack of evidence or knowledge instead of actually giving positive reasons for his position.
  • The Circular Reasoning Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when she assumes her conclusion without actually arguing for it. What may appear like supporting reasons actually include unstated assumptions.
  • The Equivocation Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when he uses key words in ambiguous and misleading ways. It’s necessary to make sure that important terms are being clearly defined.
  • The Straw Man Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when she refutes a caricature of an argument, instead of the argument itself. Despite appearances, the original argument remains undealt with.
  • The Genetic Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when he dismisses an argument based solely on its origin; for example: where it began, why it began, or when it began.
  • The Appealing to Irrelevant Authority Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when she tries to support her case with the opinion of someone who is not actually an expert on the subject.
  • The Arguing from Consequences Fallacy
    • Someone commits this fallacy when he evaluates an argument not on evidence for or against, but on whether or not he likes the possible results that would follow if it were true.
  • The False Dilemma
    • Someone commits this fallacy when she makes it appear as though there are only two options on the table, when in fact there are more than the two to choose from.




Patrick

Patrick is an Adult Services Librarian at our Canfield branch. He enjoys podcasting, running, and wrestling with his kids. He likes to read narrative nonfiction and novels about dystopian futures.