Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

4: Informal Fallacies

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    • 4.1: Formal vs. Informal Fallacies
      A fallacy is simply a mistake in reasoning. Some fallacies are formal and some are informal.
    • 4.2: Slippery Slope Fallacies
      Slippery slope fallacies depend on the concept of vagueness. When a concept or claim is vague, it means that we don’t know precisely what claim is being made, or what the boundaries of the concept are.
    • 4.3: Fallacies of Relevance
      Fallacies of relevance can be compelling psychologically, but it is important to distinguish between rhetorical techniques that are psychologically compelling, on the one hand, and rationally compelling arguments, on the other. What makes something a fallacy is that it fails to be rationally compelling, once we have carefully considered it. That said, arguments that fail to be rationally compelling may still be psychologically or emotionally compelling.
    • 4.4: Exercise Answers

    This page titled 4: Informal Fallacies is shared under a CC BY 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Matthew Van Cleave.

    • Was this article helpful?