Fallacies

Show Notes The Argument from Personal Incredulity describes a situation where someone dismisses a claim for no other reason than they find it difficult to believe. In fact, the person may be having trouble believing something simply because it doesn’t conform to how they currently think, or even that they simply...

Show Notes The Gish Gallop is a method of debating that focuses on quantity of arguments over quality, overwhelming your opponent with multiple arguments, each of which is often poorly argued or evidentially lacking. The sheer number of arguments makes a detailed, effective refutation impossible due to the research and time...

Show Notes The Single Cause Fallacy is committed when the speaker assumes a complex outcome to have one cause, thereby making it easier to blame on somebody or propose a solution. The reality is that many real-world issues are caused by a combination of factors, some of which may even be...

Show Notes Kettle Logic is when multiple arguments are presented at once, often overlapping or contradicting each other, without acknowledging the contradictions. We started out with the Donald tweeting this excuse for committing tax fraud or possibly losing a billion dollars: ...

Show Notes Special Pleading describes a situation where you have a rule that you apply to everyone else, but make up an excuse to explain why the rule doesn’t apply to you. When you are inconsistent in applying the rules in this way without a valid logical reason, you are using fallacious reasoning. We...

Show Notes This fallacy, sometimes called ‘Missing the Point’, is committed when someone provides evidence refuting or proving a point which is irrelevant to the issue at hand. This can often be a quite effective distraction, but as it does not address the real question, it remains fallacious. We started out with...

Show Notes Poisoning the Well is a kind of Ad Hominem fallacy where the attack on the person making a claim happens in advance. By attributing negative traits to someone before they even have the chance to make their argument, the well poisoner primes the listener not to believe what they are...

Show Notes This is a special episode inspired by a Twitter conversation. It's only 20 minutes and has none of the usual sections, so the notes below are simply links to things I talked about in the episode. The twitter conversation that inspire this bonus episode. Trump's tweet about executing babies: Senate Democrats just...

Show Notes Cherry Picking is a logical fallacy in which the arguer ignores a large amount of evidence which casts doubt on their claim, carefully selecting only the parts which make their claim sound plausible. Where there is controversy on an issue, data to support both sides, or ambiguous reports which...

Show Notes Ad Hominem is Latin for 'to the man' and describes an argument where the focus of the attack is not on the views a person holds but on the person themselves. It is an attempt to distract from the matter at hand by introducing irrelevant details aimed at discrediting...

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