A Philosopher's Blog

76 Fallacies

Posted in Philosophy, Reasoning/Logic by Michael LaBossiere on July 19, 2012

In addition to combining the content of my 42 Fallacies and 30 More Fallacies, this book features some revisions as well as a new section on common formal fallacies.

As the title indicates, this book presents seventy six fallacies. The focus is on providing the reader with definitions and examples of these common fallacies rather than being a handbook on winning arguments or general logic.

Available now at Amazon: United States and United Kingdom






The book presents the following 73 informal fallacies:

Accent, Fallacy of

Accident, Fallacy of

Ad Hominem

Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

Amphiboly, Fallacy of

Anecdotal Evidence, Fallacy Of

Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief

Appeal to Authority, Fallacious

Appeal to Belief

Appeal to Common Practice

Appeal to Emotion

Appeal to Envy

Appeal to Fear

Appeal to Flattery

Appeal to Group Identity

Appeal to Guilt

Appeal to Novelty

Appeal to Pity

Appeal to Popularity

Appeal to Ridicule

Appeal to Spite

Appeal to Tradition

Appeal to Silence

Appeal to Vanity

Argumentum ad Hitlerum

Begging the Question

Biased Generalization

Burden of Proof

Complex Question

Composition, Fallacy of

Confusing Cause and Effect

Confusing Explanations and Excuses

Circumstantial Ad Hominem

Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Division, Fallacy of

Equivocation, Fallacy of

Fallacious Example

Fallacy Fallacy

False Dilemma

Gambler’s Fallacy

Genetic Fallacy

Guilt by Association

Hasty Generalization

Historian’s Fallacy

Illicit Conversion

Ignoring a Common Cause

Incomplete Evidence

Middle Ground

Misleading Vividness

Moving the Goal Posts

Oversimplified Cause

Overconfident Inference from Unknown Statistics

Pathetic Fallacy

Peer Pressure

Personal Attack

Poisoning the Well

Positive Ad Hominem

Post Hoc

Proving X, Concluding Y

Psychologist’s fallacy

Questionable Cause


Red Herring

Reification, Fallacy of

Relativist Fallacy

Slippery Slope

Special Pleading


Straw Man

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Victim Fallacy

Weak Analogy


The book contains the following three formal (deductive) fallacies:


Affirming the Consequent

Denying the Antecedent

Undistributed Middle



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7 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on July 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

    My favorite is Argumentum ad Hitlerum:

  2. T. J. Babson said, on July 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Mike, how much government help did you have writing your book? I bet you did it all by yourself wirh no government involvement.

    • magus71 said, on July 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Common, TJ, you know Barack Obama is never wrong. Does this guy like anything about America except the fact that it elected him President?

      Mike, Barack doesn’t think you made your book happen.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Well, here is how the state was involved:
      The internet was developed from state foundations, so that helped. My public education and federal student aid got me through grad school. I work for a state school. I had to use the public infrastructure for power, water, transportation, and so on. Plus, the state maintains order and civilization (or rather is order and civilization). So, if I had lived in a land of stateless chaos, I suspect I’d never had written the book.

  3. T. J. Babson said, on July 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I would think that a philosopher above all would recognize individual achievement. Has anything worthwhile in philosophy been accomplished by the hive?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

      To steal from Newton, I am able to see as far as I do only because I stand on the shoulders of giants. If there had been no Thales, no Socrates, no Descartes, and so on, philosophy would be…well, at the beginning. Human knowledge is a collective endeavor across time.

  4. […] 76 Fallacies (aphilosopher.wordpress.com) […]

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