## Begging the Question / Circular Reasoning

An argument is circular if its conclusion is among its premises, if it assumes (either explicitly or not) what it is trying to prove. Such arguments are said to beg the question. A circular argument fails as a proof because it will only be judged to be sound by those who already accept its conclusion. […]

## Arguing from Ignorance

Arguments from ignorance infer that a proposition is true from the fact that it is not known to be false. Not all arguments of this form are fallacious; if it is known that if the proposition were not true then it would have been disproven, then a valid argument from ignorance may be constructed. In […]

## Affirming the Consequent

The fallacy of affirming the consequent is committed by arguments that have the form: (1) If A then B (2) B Therefore: (3) A The first premise of such arguments notes that if a state of affairs A obtained then a consequence B would also obtain. The second premise asserts that this consequence B does […]

## Appeal to Wealth

The appeal to wealth fallacy is committed by any argument that assumes that someone or something is better simply because they are wealthier or more expensive. It is the opposite of the appeal to poverty. In a society in which we often aspire to wealth, where wealth is held up as that to which we […]

## Appeal to Poverty

The appeal to poverty fallacy is committed when it is assumed that a position is correct because it is held by the poor. The opposite of the appeal to poverty is theappeal to wealth. There is sometimes a temptation to contrast the excesses, greed, and immorality of the rich with the simplicity, virtue, and humility […]

## Appeal to Popularity

Appeals to popularity suggest that an idea must be true simply because it is widely held. This is a fallacy because popular opinion can be, and quite often is, mistaken. Hindsight makes this clear: there were times when the majority of the population believed that the Earth is the still centre of the universe, and […]

## Appeal to Pity

An appeal to pity attempts to persuade using emotion—specifically, sympathy—rather than evidence. Playing on the pity that someone feels for an individual or group can certainly affect what that person thinks about the group; this is a highly effective, and so quite common, fallacy. This type of argument is fallacious because our emotional responses are […]

## Appeal to Novelty

An appeal to novelty is the opposite of an appeal to antiquity. Appeals to novelty assume that the newness of an idea is evidence of its truth. They are thus also related to the bandwagon fallacy. That an idea is new certainly doesn’t entail that it is true. Many recent ideas have no merit whatsoever, […]