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Argumentum Ad Baculum

The argument of the stick; a threat. (You should believe me or you will be punished.)

Argumentum Ad Populum

The "bandwagon: approach- it is correct because it is popular.

Argumentum Ad Verecundiam

An appeal to an authority, but in an area outside his/her area of expertise.

Argumentum Ad Hominem

To attack the person instead of the argument.

Argumentum Ad Misericordiam

To use emotion or call upon pity to hide the read argument.

Argumentum "A"

Arguing from ignorance. (Since I don't know if Ad Ignorantiamis is false, "B" must be true.)

Ignoratio Elenchi

The use of another issue-usually an emotional one-to draw attention from the real issue. Also called, and frequently better known as, red herring. (SQUIRREL)

Special Pleading

The argument that the rules should not apply to this special case.

Black or White Argument.

Presenting an "Either/or" situation when there are other alternatives.


Shifting the emphasis or accent in a deceptive way.


Trying to disprove a statement that is generally true with a very specific example.

Hasty Generalization

To generalize based upon only a few examples (stereotypes).

Fallacy of the Beard

Assuming that individual actions have no collective impact.

Truth is in the Middle

A claim that "average" gives the true picture, when that is not true; the use of facts or figures to tell what is "true" but not what is "accurate."

False Cause

Something is stated to be the result of something else, when no causal connection can be found OR something is stated to be the only cause when there may be many causes.

Guilt By Association

Generic Fallacy

Slippery Slope



"I'm for the environment" "I'm for education"

Petitio Principii

Assuming your conclusion as your proof, also where two things are seen as the cause and the effect of each other. ALSO CALLED BEGGING THE QUESTION or CIRCULAR REASONING.


The words of the argument have a double meaning.


The phrases and sentences have a double meaning.

Complex Question

A double question when the answer to the first is assumed to be "yes."


Working from the parts to the whole, so that a quality of each one of the parts is assumed to apply to the whole.


Working from the whole to the parts, so that a quality of the whole is assumed to apply to each of the parts.

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