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  • False Conversion
  • False Dilemma
  • False Effect
  • Far-Fetched Hypothesis
  • Faulty Comparison
  • Gambler’s Fallacy
  • Genetic Fallacy
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Having Your Cake
  • Hedging
  • Historian’s Fallacy
  • Homunculus Fallacy
  • Hypnotic Bait and Switch
  • Hypothesis Contrary to Fact
  • The Fallacies: If–Mu
  • If-By-Whiskey
  • Illicit Contraposition
  • Illicit Major
  • Illicit Minor
  • Illicit Substitution of Identicals
  • Inconsistency
  • Inflation of Conflict
  • Jumping to Conclusions
  • Just Because Fallacy*
  • Just In Case Fallacy
  • Least Plausible Hypothesis
  • Limited Depth
  • Limited Scope
  • Logic Chopping
  • Ludic Fallacy
  • Lying with Statistics
  • Magical Thinking
  • Meaningless Question
  • Misleading Vividness
  • Missing Data Fallacy*
  • Modal (Scope) Fallacy
  • Moralistic Fallacy
  • Moving the Goalposts
  • Multiple Comparisons Fallacy
  • The Fallacies: Na–Ri
  • Naturalistic Fallacy
  • Negating Antecedent and Consequent
  • Negative Conclusion from Affirmative Premises
  • Nirvana Fallacy
  • No True Scotsman
  • Non Sequitur
  • Notable Effort
  • Overwhelming Exception
  • Package-Deal Fallacy
  • Poisoning the Well
  • Political Correctness Fallacy
  • Post-Designation
  • Prejudicial Language
  • Proof by Intimidation
  • Proving Non-Existence
  • Quantifier-Shift Fallacy
  • Quantum Physics Fallacy*
  • Questionable Cause
  • Rationalization
  • Red Herring
  • Reductio ad Absurdum
  • Reductio ad Hitlerum
  • Regression Fallacy
  • Reification
  • Relative Privation
  • Retrogressive Causation
  • Rights To Ought Fallacy*
  • The Fallacies: Sc–Wi
  • Scapegoating
  • Selective Attention
  • Self-Sealing Argument
  • Shoehorning
  • Slippery Slope
  • Special Pleading
  • Spiritual Fallacy*
  • Spotlight Fallacy
  • Statement of Conversion
  • Stereotyping
  • Stolen Concept Fallacy
  • Strawman Fallacy
  • Style Over Substance
  • Subjectivist Fallacy
  • Subverted Support
  • Sunk-Cost Fallacy
  • Suppressed Correlative
  • Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
  • Tokenism
  • Two Wrongs Make a Right
  • Unfalsifiability
  • Unwarranted Contrast
  • Use-Mention Error
  • Weak Analogy
  • Willed Ignorance
  • Wishful Thinking
  • Appeal to Authority

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    argumentum ad verecundiam

    (also known as: argument from authority, appeal to false authority, argument from false authority, ipse dixit, testimonials [form of])

    Definition: Using an authority as evidence in your argument when the authority is not really an authority on the facts relevant to the argument.  As the audience, allowing an irrelevant authority to add credibility to the claim being made.

    Logical Form:

    According to person 1, Y is true.

    Therefore, Y is true.

    Example #1:

    My 5th grade teacher once told me that girls will go crazy for boys if they learn how to dance.  Therefore, if you want to make the ladies go crazy for you, learn to dance.

    Explanation: Even if the 5th grade teacher were an expert on relationships, her belief about what makes girls “go crazy” for boys is speculative, or perhaps circumstantial, at best.

    Example #2:

    The Pope told me that priests can turn bread and wine into Jesus’ body and blood.  The Pope is not a liar.  Therefore, priests really can do this.

    Explanation: The Pope may believe what he says, and perhaps the Pope is not a liar, but the Pope is not an authority on the fact that the bread and wine are actually transformed into Jesus’ body and blood.  After all, how much flesh and blood does this guy Jesus actually have to give?

    Exception: Appealing to authority is valid when the authority is actually a legitimate (debatable) authority on the facts of the argument.  In the above example, if Jesus testified that this was actually happening, I guess we’d have to believe him.  The above example demonstrates the kind of subtle difference in being an authority on the idea of transubstantiation vs. the actual effectiveness of transubstantiation.

    Tip: Question authority -- or become the authority that people look to for answers.

    Variation: Testimonials are statements from, “authorities”, in the sense that they are said to know about what they are testifying to.  In business, vendor-provided testimonials should not be taken too seriously as they can easily be exceptions to the norm or just made up -- as in, “John G. from Ohio says...”





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