Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Logical Fallacy Poster

  1. Jun 7, 2014 #1
    Should we require all PF members to download and pin up this poster? :D


    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/assets/FallaciesPoster.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Yeah, but do you think they'll read it?


  4. Jun 7, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What's that potato in 5?
  5. Jun 7, 2014 #4
    They were all in a book I read:

    How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic
  6. Jun 7, 2014 #5
    I kind of hate that logical fallacies are named like this, because it gives pseudointellectuals more tools in their condescention belt. Of course, the naming isn't inherently bad, it just has this effect.

    When I see someone in a debate and they correctly point out that the opponent committed "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" they accomplish nothing but looking like a silly person who is in it for their ego. A sincere debater would instead lead the opponent to their logical mistake with counter-questions and response. That is much more productive to the discussion.

    All too often I see debates turn into "who can name the opponent's logical fallacy" quickly, and it's horrible. The names also tend to confuse people greatly about the nature of logical fallacies. Making an argument and then insulting the opponent is not a logical fallacy (however disrespectful). It is a logical fallacy to insult the opponent and conclude something because of the insult.

    It's as if pointing out logical fallacies has become some sort of "I win button" for those who don't fully understand them.
  7. Jun 7, 2014 #6
    Indeed. Insults usually come from teens who think they have everything figured out in life and as you say don't fully understand them.

    As for the names I think they make people sound classy... And arrogant. But of course it is because Latin is not our language. They may sound normal for people who are acquainted with the language.
  8. Jun 7, 2014 #7
    Sorry for double posting, but hear this.

    I admit being guilty to this one. I once incredibly argued with a friend for more than 6 hours!! No kidding, I'm not lying. I was angry at him and so he was at me, but we kept on arguing without disrespecting each other (you can be angry and still respect the other person). Now that I think about it, it was a pleasant fight. We both had lots of wrong arguments in those 6+ hours and we learned from each other.

    We didn't learn instantly, but after a good night rest and reflection upon what was told the last day we sort of began accepting what each other had said.

    That was one long verbal fight. I'm glad I met him. So... who wants to argue with me for another 6+ hours and show me wrong? :tongue2:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  9. Jun 8, 2014 #8


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You might want to look into this service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y :rofl:
  10. Jun 8, 2014 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I see all black
  11. Jun 8, 2014 #10


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Out of all these, IMO ad hominem requires the least amount of intelligence and is the one most commonly used. Can't defeat the other person's logic? Just start insulting him! sigh.
  12. Jun 8, 2014 #11

    Again, just insulting a person is not ad hominem.
  13. Jun 8, 2014 #12
    I think the problem is trigger happy people who call you out on whatever fallacy they name, and you're really not guilty of it.
    I've encountered more people online who don't understand analogies than I have anywhere else in life.
    Two of the main problems I run into with using analogies in online debates is:
    1) No matter what analogy you use to compare your opponents argument to, it's always a terrible analogy. It's never right, nor is it almost right. It's always the worst possible analogy you could have chosen. Your analogy is always the antithesis of what a good analogy would have been.
    Then they will proceed to give their own analogy, which is, of course, terrible, and then the discussion veers off into a side debate on why each other's analogies are bad.

    2) Your opponent will never accept your analogy, because your analogy isn't exactly like what you're comparing it to.
    For example, if someone says dogs are bad because they can hurt you. You can counter that by saying that just because something can hurt you, doesn't make it bad, and you give electricity as an example of something that can hurt you.
    Your opponent will not accept the analogy and say that it's terrible because dogs don't come out of electrical outlets when you plug something into them.
  14. Jun 8, 2014 #13
    "Appeal to authority" isn't always a fallacy.

    For example, when two laypeople are discussing if global warming is man-made, it is perfectly reasonable to argue that global warming is probably man-made because a reputable authority says so (great majority of climate scientists). IMO starting to argue on the concepts and science would be ridiculous as neither of the sides understand them.
  15. Jun 8, 2014 #14
    Yes, I see the same thing all the time. What you're explaining (and what I see) is barely even an analogy, it is more of a simple counterexample to a claim that "things that can hurt you are bad." "But dogs aren't like electricity, so shut up." They cannot explain the fallacy. By providing a counterexample to "things that can hurt you are bad" you have ruined the validity of their argument about dogs. It is cut and dry. It doesn't even require any similarity between dogs and electricity.

    The issue is that logical fallacies being categorized and named makes people just lightly read the description, say "ooh, he kind of did that!;" refutation complete. Logical fallacies are not some kind of extra rules.

    I always hold that if you're going to point out a fallacy, you'd better be able to explain why it's fallacious. Seeing people on the internet quote a post and put nothing but a link to Wikipedia about some informal fallacy makes my blood boil.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook