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One rich source of fallacies is the media: television, radio, magazines, and the Internet. The arguments you experience in your daily life (work, family, shopping) are another source of fallacies. Identify three distinct informal logical fallacies you have experienced in the media or in your life. Explain how the fallacies were used and the context in which they occurred. Then, explain what the person presenting the fallacy should have done to ensure that he or she was not committing a logical error.


Fallacies are part and paercel of every days life. Each day, were are presented with arguments from the mainstream media and colleagues whose premises fail to satisfactorily support a proposed conclusion. An informal fallacy in an argument stems from poor reasoning/logic that renders conclusions that are unfounded or unpersuasive (Mouritsen, 2010).

Appeal to authority fallacy

This type of fallacy is committed when people argue that, simplify because the authorities support a certain course of action or something, it must be true. In other words, if an authority rejects/attacks something, that something must be wrong or untrue. Authorities/ experts can disagree. For instance, consider a trial where each side is required to bring an expert. The experts are bought and therefore, they will make assertions based on the payments they receive from their clients (people or corporations) and not what they believe is true. Sad enough, some authorities/experts may not really be experts in certain pertinent fields. Such “professors of nothing” negatively influence the credibility of arguments hence creating informal fallacies (Mouritsen, 2010).

Dr. Stanley is a PhD professor: he is obviously highly educated, so a student should believe when he says that Hitter didn’t deliberately execute millions of Jews. (Prof. Stanley is a professor in chemical engineering, not history). To eliminate the logical errors in his arguments, the professor needs to familiarize himself with some basic history knowledge.

Appeal to believe                                                                                               

This informal fallacy is committed either explicitly or implicitly when something is believed to be true by “most” people. Because they believe something is true, it must be true. For instance, if according to a recent research by Harris poll, 90 % of the people in the U.S believe in miracles, so we conclude that miracles occur (Mouritsen, 2010). To reduce the commitment of this fallacy, people should question their believes.

Appeal of ignorance fallacy

It’s committed when people fail to prove that something is not true. Many people believe that if they are unable to prove something false, then that something must be true and vice versa (Mouritsen, 2010). For instance, my roommate believes in ghosts because nobody has ever proved that they don’t exist. To eliminate this fallacy, the roommate should carry a personal research on the myth of ghosts.


Mouritsen, S. C. (2010). The dictionary is not a fortress: Definitional fallacies and a corpus-based approach to plain meaning.Brigham Young University Law Review, 2010(5), 1915-1979. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/866207951?accountid=45049

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