Explore BrainMass


A fallacy is an invalid form of argument or an instance of incorrect reasoning. Fallacies are either formal fallacies or informal fallacies.

A formal fallacy is an error in logic that can be seen in an argument’s form.¹ All formal fallacies are specific types of non sequiturs.

One example of a formal fallacy includes an appeal to probability where one takes something for granted because it would probably be the case.¹ Another example of a formal fallacy might include the conjunction fallacy where the assumption that an outcome simultaneously satisfying multiple conditions is more probable than an outcome satisfying a single one of them.¹

Example of a causation fallacy³:

“I saw a magpie and ten minutes later, I crashed my car, therefore, magpies are bad luck.”

Informal fallacies are arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural flaws and which usually require examination of the argument’s content.² 

An example of an informal fallacy may include an argument from ignorance, which is assuming that a claim is true because it has not been proven false or cannot be proven false. Another example of an informal fallacy might include circular reasoning when the reasoned begins with what he or she is trying to end up with.¹



Image sources:

1. Wikimedia


1. Blackwell Reference Online. Formal Fallacy. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from

2. Blackwell Reference Online. Informal Fallacy. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from 

3. Your Dictionary. Examples of Fallacies. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from

Logical Fallacies and the News

Identify a current event or contemporary social issue that you are interested in analyzing using the critical thinking method. Your issue must be broad enough to sustain deep philosophical analysis and must have relevance to your community. This means that the issue should be one (1) about which reasonable minds can disagree, (2


I would like fallacies identified for the statements I have attached, using the following: ad homimen, begging the question, complex question, equivocation, false cause, and false dilemma. 1. This vehicle was attacked by someone. Look at the damage to it. It's all caused by exceptionally well-aimed blasts. The vehicle mus

Fallacies in "Nightmare in Green"

Please take a look into the article "Nightmare in Green" in the link below and help me with the following tasks. 1) Can you help me determine if the author has committed any of these fallacies: *Distraction fallacies - false dilemma, slippery slope, straw man *Resemblance fallacies - affirming the consequence, denying the

Truth tables and Problem Sets

** Please see the attached document for the complete solution response ** 1) Construct a truth table for (~p V ~q) → p 2) Construct a truth table for ~q → (p ^ q) 3) Given p is true, q is true, and r is false, find the truth value of the statement ~p → (~q V r). Show step by step work. 4) If the argument belo

Taxonomy on Logical Thinking: Draft Project Chart

Can you help me with this project below. I am doing the 3rd part from the book. Hopefully I get that done correctly. I need help with part 1 and part 2. Thanks! The Chart is attached for ease! Jacinta Part 1. In the following chart are fallacies. In the second column, define the fallacy, in the third column provide a

The following multiple choice answers refer to informal fallacies.

A. If you want a life full of sexual pleasure, don't graduate from college. A study to be published next month in American Demographics magazine shows that people with the most education have the least amount of sex. 26. (a) Appeal to emotion (b) Begging the Question (c) False Cause B. If science wishes to argue that we

Arguments and Fallacies

For each of the following arguments identify the fallacy that occurs. If no fallacy is committed write "no fallacy." for example... Fallacies of Relevance, Fallacies of Weak Induction, Fallacies of Presumption, Ambiguity, & Grammatical Analogy, etc. 1. It rains a lot in San Diego during the summer. I know because I spent two


I can not understand the meaning of these fallacies. Can someone give me an example of an "appeal to emotion" fallacy, a "composition fallacy", and a "past belief" fallacy?

12 Fallacies Identified and Explained

The arguments below contain various kinds of fallacies. Evaluate each and identify the fallacy using the matching list. See the master list of fallacies. 1. We can recognize that athletes that participate in sports must be given special consideration within our grading system, or we can let the university sink into athl

fallacies are accuarte for these examples.

Outline for Fallacy Journal I. Teens' Miranda Rights A) No special treatment because of age (Supreme Court Says). B) Police did not have Michael Alvarado under arrest and was clearly outside of the 1966 Miranda ruling.