Digging into logical fallacy
It’s usually a good idea to define what one is talking about. Fallacy is derived from the Latin word, fallacia which means trick, deceit or fraud. Logical fallacy is an argument containing faulty reasoning. Also note that ‘reasoning’ itself depends on applications of the rules of logic – which stand rather separately. So – misapplication of the rules of logic will lead to faulty reasoning.
I have been studying logical fallacy quite regularly over the last 10 years. However, my interest in this started at the age of about 12 i.e. well over 10 years ago. Not many children were fortunate enough like me to have had teachers who would encourage use to learn the pitfalls of thinking and reasoning. Throughout all my private study of this area I’ve come across various taxonomies for the fallacies. Recently I came across ‘Informal Logical Fallacies: A Brief Guide‘ on Scribd. This system and set of explanations seems the best so far. Much of what is written here is taken from that book – all credits to the author, Van Jacob E. Vleet. Just to be clear, I don’t know the man from Adam – and I’m totally uninterested in his qualifications.
Fallacies generally fall into two main categories:
- Informal – argument is flawed due to content
- Formal – argument is flawed due to structure
This post focuses on informal fallacies only.
If anybody reading this thought they were gonna get a tutorial, they’re certainly in the wrong place. Those expecting to be spoon fed, normally get the spoon thrown at their head at high speed – with good aim. Luckily this is a blog in cyberspace!
There is a mindmap below which outlines how the informal fallacies are classified. Those who need to learn more can find Vleet’s book and read it for themselves.
Disclaimer & Guidance