Thursday, November 12, 2020

Logical Fallacies List

 Logical fallacies are, in fact, rather interesting. I myself am a philosopher and have studied logic extensively.

While there are many logical fallacies, I will start with the most common ones.

The first and most common logical fallacy is 'Appeal to the masses'. This occurs when someone appeals to an action or belief that has been performed by large numbers of people.

This fallacy is also known as 'Appeal to the majority' or 'Argumentum ad populum'. It occurs when someone attempts to justify an action or belief by claiming that most people practice it.

There are two kinds of fallacies. Logical fallacies, and psychological or argumentative fallacies.

Logical Fallacy: A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.

A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.

There are many kinds of logical fallacies. I will list a few important ones:

The Straw Man fallacy:

The Straw Man fallacy is a misrepresentation of someone else's position to make it easier to attack.

I think one of the most common logical fallacies is 'argumentum ad populum'. This fallacy occurs when someone uses the fact that a lot of people believe something to argue for or against it. For example, if I said "Most people who have seen The Godfather like it", you might be tempted to agree with me--but this would not make my statement true. Just because many people do not understand Socrates does not mean he was wrong.

Another fallacy arises when people think that something is good simply because it has always been done. For example, we might say that since the death penalty has always existed in human society, it should continue to exist--but this is not necessarily true. If you are interested in examining logical fallacies in more detail I have compiled a list of Wikipedia's 'List of common logical fallacies.'

Let me also mention that I think you should be careful about the use of words like 'logical fallacy'. This is a human term. Humans have their own unique way of thinking which differs from other creatures such as chimpanzees and dolphins, who have their own ways of thinking. The word "fallacy" implies that humans are somehow inferior to these other animals--but this could not be further from the truth! Humans may not be able to fly or live under water but they can do things no other animal has ever managed.

We live in a world of false beliefs. We are born with the instinct to believe unconditionally, that is, without logical reason or justification. This tendency remains within us throughout our lives and determines how we behave towards others and ourselves.

The majority of people are not aware of this tendency, and believe that they live in a 'just world' where their own actions determine what happens to them. This is true for those who succeed but also for the unfortunate ones.

Thus, the majority of people accept the status quo and do not challenge it. Those who succeed remain in a state of ignorance about their luck, blaming themselves for failures or ascribing them to external circumstances.

The only way out of this state of ignorance and the resulting suffering, is to first acknowledge that we live in a world of false beliefs. This entails recognizing the interdependence between our actions and their results, as well as freeing ourselves from superstitious thinking.

What this means in practice is becoming aware of the interconnectedness between ourselves and others, as well as our impact on the environment. We need to feel responsible for our own actions, which will then provide us with a sense of meaning that we can take pride in.

We must do what we can to improve the world, in order to leave behind a planet that is better than it was before.

I don't actually know enough of these to confidently list them all, but I will give you a few examples.

First, a fallacy of relevance is when someone fails to prove their claim. They may also fail to disprove another person's claims. It usually occurs in an attempt to convince the listener that something is true or false.

Second, a fallacy of presumption is when someone makes the claim that something must be true because they said it was.

Third, a fallacy of ambiguity is when someone fails to make their point clear enough. They may also be using words that have more than one meaning.

Fourth, a fallacy of equivocation is when someone uses one word or phrase to mean multiple things.

Fifth, a fallacy of accent is when someone fails to support their claims with evidence.

In my opinion, there are two main types of fallacies: formal and informal. Formal fallacies are the ones that affect our reasoning processes by misusing logic itself rather than being a result of an incorrect application of logic to the problem at hand. Informal fallacies are those that use logical mechanisms incorrectly despite following correct procedures.

An example of a formal fallacy is the red herring fallacy. This occurs when we present irrelevant information in an attempt to divert attention away from the original argument, distractingly implying that it's tangential to the topic at hand. For example, say I'm trying to convince you that cats are not as cute as dogs but in your mind all you can think about are cat videos on YouTube.

Informal fallacies are those that seem to use correct logic, but what's really going on is a shortcoming in the argument's underlying structure. For example, you might invoke an appeal to authority fallacy and say something like 'Albert Einstein believed that God does not play dice with the universe.' This seems true by definition - if Albert Einstein said it then surely he must be right. However this justification for your claim is unsound because there could be evidence against the proposition which would make its truth unlikely.

Other common informal fallacies are the slippery slope fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc error, ad hominem argument and many more.

There is also a class of fallacies known as informal-reductio ad absurdum arguments. As the name suggests, these are similar to formal reductio ad absurdum arguments but they are not formulated in such a way that we can guarantee that if their premises were false then their conclusions would be true. For example: 'If you believe in God, then you'd have to be crazy! After all, Hitler believed in God!' The problem with this argument is that it's possible to simultaneously believe in both God and sanity.

I think that there's an important distinction to be made between fallacies and cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are mistakes in thinking which arise from our biological nature, for example the confirmation bias or the representativeness heuristic. These can lead us to make incorrect judgments about things but they do not necessarily support any particular argument.

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