PP201: Reasoning and Argumentation
Fallacies of Relevance
Fallacy- any flawed argument that you can identify as having a mistake in it.
Fallacies are mistaken forms of reasoning. They are types of poor argumentation.
1. Genetic- involves an attempt to refute a conclusion by discrediting the origin
of its source, or genesis. (e.g saying somebody cant do something they have
This tactic if fallacious because the strength or plausibility of a claim
does not depend on its proponent’s background.
2. Ad Hominem- to attack the proponent of the argument, rather than the
Abusive ad hominem- attacking the personality or character of
Circumstantial ad hominem- to suggest that the proponent
only holds the position in question because of circumstances
(e.g hunting, attack the hunters and claim its not the act of
hunting that you are arguing but rather the people)
3. Tu Quoque (you as well)-involves those who point to the irrelevant fact that
the proponent of an argument to get herself act on conclusion
(E.g second hand smoke tell somebody its bad even though you do
4. Division- involves legitimately dividing a characteristic of a whole and
applying it equally to each of its parts.
(E.g Russia is a vast ungovernable country. We cannot expect,
therefore, to have any control over somebody who lives in Russia)
5. Composition- often fallacious to apply a characteristic of the parts, or one