Look at this classic example of logical reasoning:
What went wrong?
There are two basic types of fallacies: ones that draw an irrelevant conclusion, and ones that are based on unclear wording. The most common types are those that are irrelevant in some ways - like the conclusion above.
Here are a few very common types of logical fallacies:
Here are a few of my favorites from the Online Writing Lab's Logic in argumentative writing - take a look there for more. What are the premises in these? What's wrong with these arguments?
Cooks have been preparing food for generations, so our cook must be a real expert.
More young people are attending high schools and colleges than ever before in the history of our nation. But there is more juvenile delinquency than ever before. This makes it clear that to eliminate delinquency among the youth we must abolish the schools.
You say we ought to discuss whether or not to buy a new car now. All right, I agree. Let's discuss the matter. Which should we get, a Ford or a Chevy?
Our nation is a democracy and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. We believe in equality of opportunity for everyone, so our colleges and universities should admit every applicant, regardless of his economic or educational background.
(from the Online Writing Lab)
Add your own logical and illogical arguments below:
Go back to the S60 Home Page
ELI Home Page