Three Hard-to-Notice Fallacies

Slippery slope, appeal to ignorance and false causality.

Alexander P. Bird
Original Philosophy

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By Glen Carrie on Unsplash.

Introduction

Recently, I had to read many books and numerous articles for my PhD thesis. What helped me navigate through all the material and evaluate the authors’ ideas quickly was my attention to fallacies. As soon as I identified one, I could reassess the author’s ideas and write about them clearly in my thesis.

It’s true, however, that fallacies are not always inherently negative. Sometimes, appealing to authority can be justified, and there are instances where using ad hominem arguments — such as when labeling someone as arrogant — can serve a legitimate purpose.

But when publishing scientific results, it’s crucial to be mindful of the fallacies you may be susceptible to. Failing to recognize a fallacy can lead you to mistakenly believe you’re proving something when you’re actually not.

After all the reading I’ve done this past week, I’ve noticed three common fallacies that can be so tricky that they can deceive even very intelligent individuals (who are not immune to mistakes, since no one is). I will present them here, and I hope that whoever reads this article will become more attentive to poorly justified beliefs as a result. Let’s see.

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Alexander P. Bird
Original Philosophy

Brazilian postgraduate student in logic and metaphysics. Cinephile and new to sci-fi writing. alexand3r.bird@gmail.com