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Abusive ad hominem

a type of personal attach fallacy that is commited be attacking the character of the opposing speaker rather than his or her thesis.


the fallacy that occurs when a statement is ambiguous because (1) the intended tone of voice is uncertain (2) its stress is unclear (3) it is quoted out of context


the state of having more than one correct meaning


a comparison between two cases


an adage; a short formulation of a truth or sentiment


the fallacy that occurs when there is an ambiguity due to faulty sentence structure

appeal to authority

the fallacy committed by seeking to persuade not by giving evidence but merely by citing an authority.

appeal to fear

the fallacy committed by attempting to persuade through fear

appeal to ignorance

the fallacy that occurs when the lack of evidence against thesis is emphasized rather than the evidence for the thesis

appeal to pity

the fallacy committed by seeking to persuade by arousing pity.


a piece of persuasive reasoning in which one or more statements ( the premises) are offered as support for some other statement (conclusion)

argumentative essay

an essay that takes a widely held conclusion particular to a subject, or conclusion particular to another writer or thinker, and agreed with, disagrees with, or somehow modifies the conclusion

Aristotelian Syllogism

a two-premises deductive argument containing three terms (the major, the minor, and the middle terms), each term occurring two times in the argument


a premise of an argument, which is sometimes not explicitly stated

begging the question

the fallacy committed by assuming the conclusion of an argument in the premises. It is committed in three ways (1) offering, as a premise, a simple restatement of the conclusion; (2) giving a circular argument that justifies the conclusion with the conclusion; and (3) subsuming a suspect particular under a generalization that is even more problematic


the fallacy that is committed by assuming that a distinction is exclusive, when other alternatives exist. Also known as the "either/or fallacy," "black-and-white fallacy" and "false dilemma"

circular argument

an argument in which the conclusion is ultimately justified with itself

circumstantial ad hominem

a type of personal-attack fallacy in which the opposing speaker is accused of having vested interests


an expression that is so overused that is has become practically meaningless

complex question

the interrogative form of begging the question. The fallacy is committed by posing a question that has an unwarranted assumption.


the fallacy committed by assuming that what is true of parts (or members) is true of the whole (or group)


(1) the statement in an argument that is supported by the premises; (2) the statement that the arguer attempts to prove.

conclusion indicators

a word or phrase that often accompanies a conclusion. Examples include "therefore"; "thus"; "hence"; "it follows that"; 'we may infer that"; "so"; and "we may conclude that"


two statements that cannot both be tru and cannot both be false


two statements that cannot both be true but can both be false

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