Before understanding what a fallacy argument is, it is important for a person to know what an argument is. An argument can be described as a sentence that contains one or more statements that are true or false and one conclusion. The other part of the definition is fallacy, which can be described as an error in the reasoning of a person. So, in short definition logical fallacies can be stated as the ability to analyze any errors in the reasoning of a person. The ability to identify logical fallacies in the arguments of other people is a characteristic that is very rare among people and is very valuable to have. They may be classified as formal or informal.
False authority is a common type of logical fallacy. It is mostly used to get into the authority of people. It is strongly dependent on assumptions. It occurs when people give themselves or to other suspicious authorities sufficient warrants for believing their claims. For example, a person may claim that something is true because he or she said so. A claim may also be made through the reference to what a certain person says is always true. Such claims do not give sufficient reasons as to why they are true, since a person cannot have the authority to defend his or her own claims. The strength of these arguments often depends on two factors namely legitimate expertise and expert consensus. In the area of expert consensus, a person presents himself or herself as an expert in a certain field, who should be trusted based on the expertise he or she claims to have. Sometimes these claimants have fake credentials and people should avoid them as much as possible. This is mostly used by politicians as they try to persuade people to vote for them or when seeking the support of the people.
The bandwagon fallacy is another type of logical fallacy that is common in the modern society. A bandwagon may be described as a form of group think. People jump into it based on peer pressure because they want to avoid the backlash of others. As more people come to believe something, others tend to join the bandwagon regardless of the underlying evidence. Those who join or hop into the bandwagon mostly get the information from others. The main reason why it occurs is because people often override or even ignore their own beliefs and conscience. A person may also be convinced to join a certain institution or a group based on persuasions that are not true, but due to the fear of rejection, the person will just have to agree. For example, consider the following scenario. A person says that he or she likes the idea that an individual should work on a job of his or her own choice. The friends of the above person mock him or her and possibly threaten to end the friendship. The person will just have to abandon the decision so as to avoid the rejection and the collapse of friendship. As a result, it can be said that the loyalty to a certain group often compromises the beliefs of people, hence leading them to bandwagon fallacy.
Circular reasoning is simply trying to support a statement by repeating the same statement, but only in different and possibly stronger terms. Mostly circular reasoning does not lead to a conclusion because the premises of the argument will be doubted. However, the components of a circular argument can be logically valid because if the premises will be true, then the conclusion will also not lack relevance. Consider the following argument provided by Hughes and Lavery: a person claims that whatever is less dense than water will not sink, because whatever is less than water will not sink. This might sound illogical and might even be termed as nonsense. In the real sense, it is true because whatever that is less dense than water will definitely float. Circular waiting is usually difficult to detect because it is in the form that a certain statement is true because another statement is true. In the end, a circular reasoning fallacy often leaves more questions than answers.
Red herring is the other form of logical fallacy. It mostly involves a person trying to avoid an argument by trying to raise another argument. In short, it can be explained to be the intentional diversion of attention from an argument with the intention of trying to quit it. Irrelevant issues are raised to divert the attention of people. The issues raised here are logically irrelevant and do not relate with the topic or motion in discussion. It is mostly in the following format: a motion or an argument is ongoing. While the first argument is still going on, a second argument is raised. As a result, the first argument will just be forgotten.
Straw man is a logical fallacy that involves making a close imitation of an argument that was ongoing. However, the logical or actual meaning of the imitation is quite different from the actual meaning of the first. A person just misrepresents an argument for his or her own benefits. It may be categorized as a red herring, because the aim of misrepresenting the argument is so as to divert attention from the actual arguments. It is often difficult to defend against straw men because they give little or no room at all for exceptions.
In conclusion, it can be claimed that the different type of fallacies can be used to be overpower opponents in arguments. Additionally, one needs to recognize those fallacies in order to understand when the opponent is reserving to them.
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