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Appeal to Intuition

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(also known as:  appeal to the gut)

Description: Evaluating an argument based on "intuition" or "gut feeling" that is unable to be articulated, rather than evaluating the argument using reason.

Logical Forms:

Evidence is given for argument X.

X doesn't match person 1's intuition or gut feeling.

Therefore, argument X is rejected.


Person 1 has a gut feeling about claim X.

Therefore, claim X is true.

Example #1:

Nick: Did you know that if the sun were just a few miles closer to Earth, we would burn up, or if it were just a few miles further away we would all freeze? It is like someone put the sun there just for us!

Suzy: Actually, the distance of the sun from Earth varies from about 91 million miles to 94.5 million miles, depending on the time of year.

Nick: That can't be right. The sun never appears a few million miles further away!

Explanation: Besides Nick's flat out rejection of a fact, Nick is evaluating Suzy's refutation based on what feels wrong to him. Nick is abandoning the reasoning process.

Example #2:

Maura: Stop wasting your money on those scratch-off lottery tickets. You know the odds are seriously stacked against you, don't you?

Philip: I do, but I have a really good feeling about this next batch!

Explanation: Maura makes a good argument as to why Phillip should not buy any more tickets, but Philip abandons the reasoning process and makes an appeal to his intuition.

Exception: This doesn't include arguments where subjective feeling plays a significant role.

Maureen: So who are you going to marry?

Joanne: Martin. I have a much better feeling about my future with him than with Tony.


This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.

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