Why Fallacies Appear to Be Better Arguments than They Are

Informal Logic, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 159-184, 2010

21 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2011

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This paper explains how a fallacious argument can be deceptive by appearing to be a better argument of its kind than it really is. The explanation combines heuristics and argumentation schemes. Heuristics are fast and frugal shortcuts to a solution to a problem. They are reasonable to use, but sometimes jump to a conclusion that is not justified. In fallacious instances, according to the theory proposed, such a jump overlooks prerequisites of the defeasible argumentation scheme for the type of argument in question. Three informal fallacies, argumentum ad verecundiam, argumentum ad ignorantiam and fear appeal argument, are used to illustrate and explain the theory.

Suggested Citation

Walton, Douglas, Why Fallacies Appear to Be Better Arguments than They Are (2010). Informal Logic, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 159-184, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1759289

Douglas Walton (Contact Author)

University of Windsor ( email )

401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4
Canada

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