I picked up this book on a whim a few years back from a used-book sale. It is a short compendium of logical fallacies and does an excellent job of introducing them through cute illustrations and lucid English. Though I was familiar with most of the fallacies, I did learn a few new ones and improve my understanding of a few I was vaguely familiar with. I think this book should be made mandatory reading at school level to provide a structural impetus to encouraging critical thinking at a young age.
The following are the logical fallacies discussed in the book.
- Appeal to vague authority - where an idea is attributed to a faceless collective.
- Appeal to ancient wisdom, in which a belief is assumed to be true just because it originated some time ago.
- Equivocation - Exploits the ambiguity of language by changing the meaning of a word during the course of an argument and using the different meanings to support an ill-founded conclusion.
- A false dilemma - An argument that presents a limited set of two possible categories and assumes that everything in the scope of the discussion must be an element of that set.
- Not a cause for a cause - This fallacy assumes a cause for an event where there is no evidence that one exists.When
- “after this, therefore because of this” (post hoc ergo propter hoc)
- “with this, therefore because of this” (cum hoc ergo propter hoc).
- Appeal to fear - This fallacy plays on the fears of an audience by imagining a scary future that would be of their making if some proposition were accepted.
- Hasty generalization
- Appeal to ignorance
- Argument from personal incredulity
- No true scotsman
- Genetic fallacy
- Guilt by association
- Affirming the consequent
- Appeal to hypocrisy
- Tu quoque - A particular type of ad hominem attack.
- Slippery slope
- Appeal to fear
- The false dilemma
- The argument from consequences
- Appeal to the bandwagon
- Ad hominem
- Abusive ad hominem
- Circumstantial ad hominem
- Circular reasoning - One of four types of arguments known as begging the question,
- Fallacy of composition - By inferring that, because the parts of a whole have a particular attribute, the whole must have that attribute also.