6 Sep 2022


Examples of the Most Common Fallacies in Reasoning

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Academic level: College

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1) Straw man 

Equality and equal rights are a major value of the United States Constitution. So we all deserve the same grades in every course we take. Also, giving students different grades just makes it harder for professors, and they either lose sleep over it because they know it’s unfair or they don’t lose sleep because they don’t care. 

2) Post Hoc fallacy 

I drank bottled water and now I am sick, so the water must have made me sick. 

3) Equivocation 

Silver is a mammal, since if Silver is a horse then Silver is a mammal, and also since Silver is in fact a horse. 

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4) Equivocation and affirming disjunct 

If Lassie is a dog, then Lassie is a mammal. Lassie is a dog, since Lassie is a mammal. 

5) Ad hominem 

We should repeal the SAFE Act (NYS gun control). Look who was the author, that loud mouth guy with the whiny downstate accent, our Governor, who probably never went hunting. Not only that, but look where it might lead. Pretty soon the state will be banning toy guns ad prohibiting us from watching Westerns. 

6) Post Hoc fallacy and Circular Argument 

President Obama is a good communicator because he spokes so effectively. 

7) Appeal to Inappropriate authority and Circular reasoning/begging the question 

If Republicans win a majority in the Senate next week, then the national debate will shift to foreign affairs. But the national debate is already shifting to foreign affairs, so it looks like the Republicans will indeed win a majority. Not only that, but my real estate agent says the Republicans will win a majority. 

8) Affirming a Disjunct and circular reasoning 

If even New York State goes Republican, the Republicans will gain a majority in the United States Senate. If the Republicans gain a majority then the Senate and House will work together. But the Senate and House will not work together. So, New York State will not go Republican

9) Gambler’s fallacy 

If the Democrats hold on to the majority in the Senate, then the Republican House will become even harder to work with. But the Democrats won’t hold on to their majority, since whenever there has been a solar eclipse within 2 weeks of an election, the Senate changes hands. And there was a solar eclipse just last week. This all means the Republicans in the House will be easier to work with. 

10) The Gambler’s Fallacy and appeal to inappropriate authority 

I read an article by a man who has won the lottery twelve times! He said he has worked out a system for how to win. One of his pieces of advice was to never buy a ticket from a store that has sold a winning ticket before well, the corner store by my apartment sold one a few years ago, so I guess they’ll never sell another winning ticket again. This guy seems to really know his stuff, I know I’ll win the lottery since I listening to him now! 

11) False dilemma 

My mommy said I could only have either a candy bar or an ice-cream cone, and I don’t want an ice-cream cone. I guess that means I’m getting a candy bar. 

12) False dilemma and begging the question 

A lot of people these days are pushing for social reform, but I say we’ve got bigger fish to fry! Did you all forget that we’re still waging a war on terror? There are people out there plotting our death and the destruction of our way of life! If you’re not with us then you must be with the terrorists! 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Examples of the Most Common Fallacies in Reasoning.


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