Understanding Fallacies

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Appeal to Motive in Place of Support

Popularity
(argumentum ad populum)

A proposition is held to be true because it is widely held to be true or is held to be true by some (usually upper crust) sector of the population. This fallacy is sometimes also called the "Appeal to Emotion" because emotional appeals often sway the population as a whole.

Example

  1. If you were beautiful, you could live like this, so buy Buty-EZ and become beautiful. (Here, the appeal is to the "beautiful people".)
  2. Polls suggest that the Liberals will form a majority government, so you may as well vote for them.
  3. Everyone knows that the Earth is flat, so why do you persist in your outlandish claims?

Reference

Copi and Cohen: 103, Davis: 62

Reference Guide
Fallacy Summary

The content of this Fallacy originated from Stephen Downes Guide to Logical Fallacies.

 

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