Accused of a fallacy? Suspect a fallacy? Ask Dr. Bo and the community!

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases!

one moment please...

Appeal to Self-evident Truth

Description: Making the claim that something is "self-evident" when it is not self-evident in place of arguing a claim with reason. In everyday terms, something is "self-evident" when understanding what it means immediately results in knowing that it is true, such as 2+2=4. The concept of self-evidence is contentions and argued among philosophers based on their ideas of epistemology. This means that what is "self-evident" to one person is not necessarily self-evident to another. However, some ideas are clearly self-evident and some are not.

Logical Form:

Person 1 claims Y without evidence.

Person 2 asks for evidence.

Person 1 claims that Y is self-evident.

Example #1:

Richie: Lord Xylon is the one true ruler of the universe.

Toby: Why do you think that?

Richie: It is self-evident.

Explanation: People often confuse their own subjective feelings and interpretations with self-evidence. Richie may believe that Lord Xylon is the one true ruler of the universe, but his belief cannot be used in place of evidence.

Example #2:

Sara: No human should ever kill another human being.

Dottie: Why not?

Sara: It's self-evident.

Explanation: The fallacy is in the implied claim that the argument needs no evidence or explanation because it is "self-evident."

Tip: If you can't explain something, that doesn't mean you are dealing with something that is self-evident; it could just be your failure to explain something.


This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found. For the concept of self-evidence, the following reference was used:

Kelly, T. (2016). Evidence. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved from

Registered User Comments

Become a Logical Fallacy Master. Choose Your Poison.

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:

Not Much of a Reader? No Problem!

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.

About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo
 Website Design and Software Copyright 2018, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.