Description: Asserting that your conclusion or facts are just “common sense” when, in fact, they are not. We must argue as to why we believe something is common sense if there is any doubt that the belief is not common, rather than just asserting that it is. This is a more specific version of alleged certainty.
It's common sense that X is true.
Therefore, X is true.
It's common sense that if you smack your children, they will stop the bad behavior. So don't tell me not to hit my kids.
Explanation: What is often accepted as "common sense" is often factually incorrect or otherwise problematic. While hitting your kids may stop their current bad behavior, the long-term psychological and behavioral negative effects can far outweigh the temporary benefits. Logically speaking, the example simply appeals to "common sense" rather than makes an attempt at a strong argument.
Exception: What is "common sense" to one might not be to another. It is possible one might not accept something that is "common sense," so it could be argued that the error in reasoning falls on the person rejecting the assertion of common sense.
Tip: It's all about good communication. Keep your assumptions to a minimum when attempting to make a persuasive argument.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:
Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!
Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.