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Three distinct informal fallacies

Three distinct informal fallacies
One rich source of fallacies is the media: television, radio, magazines, and the Internet. The arguments
you experience in your daily life (work, family, shopping) are another source of fallacies. Identify three
distinct informal logical fallacies you have experienced in the media or in your life. Explain how the
fallacies were used and the context in which they occurred. Then, explain what the person presenting the
fallacy should have done to ensure that he or she was not committing a logical error.

Fallacies are part and paercel of everydays life. Each day, were are presented with
arguments from the mainstream media and colleagues whose premises fail to satisfactorily
support a proposed conclusion. An informal fallacy in an argument stems from poor
reasoning/logic that renders conclusions that are unfounded or unpersuasive (Mouritsen, 2010).
Appeal to authority fallacy
This type of fallacy is committed when people argue that, simplify because the authorities
support a certain course of action or something, it must be true. In other words, if an authority
rejects/attacks something, that something must be wrong or untrue. Authorities/ experts can
disagree. For instance, consider a trial where each side is required to bring an expert. The experts
are bought and therefore, they will make assertions based on the payments they receive from
their clients (people or corporations) and not what they believe is true. Sad enough, some
authorities/experts may not really be experts in certain pertinent fields. Such “professors of
nothing” negatively influence the credibility of arguments hence creating informal fallacies
(Mouritsen, 2010).
Dr. Stanley is a PhD professor: he is obviously highly educated, so a student should
believe when he says that Hitter didn’t deliberately execute millions of Jews. (Prof. Stanley is a
professor in chemical engineering, not history). To eliminate the logical errors in his arguments,
the professor needs to familiarize himself with some basic history knowledge.
Appeal to believe
This informal fallacy is committed either explicitly or implicitly when something is
believed to be true by “most” people. Because they believe something is true, it must be true. For
instance, if according to a recent research by Harris poll, 90 % of the people in the U.S believe in

miracles, so we conclude that miracles occur (Mouritsen, 2010). To reduce the commitment of
this fallacy, people should question their believes.
Appeal of ignorance fallacy
It’s committed when people fail to prove that something is not true. Many people believe
that if they are unable to prove something false, then that something must be true and vice versa
(Mouritsen, 2010). For instance, my roommate believes in ghosts because nobody has ever
proved that they don’t exist. To eliminate this fallacy, the roommate should carry a personal
research on the myth of ghosts.


Mouritsen, S. C. (2010). The dictionary is not a fortress: Definitional fallacies and a corpus-
based approach to plain meaning.Brigham Young University Law Review, 2010(5),

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