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A summary of common fallacies. Ad ignorantiam. Claiming that something is true because it cannot be proved to be false. “Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press. Hasty generalisation. Generalising from insufficient evidence.

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ad ignorantiam
Ad ignorantiam

Claiming that something is true because it cannot be proved to be false.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

hasty generalisation
Hasty generalisation

Generalising from insufficient evidence.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

post hoc ergo propter hoc
Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Assuming one thing causes another just because one follows another.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

ad hominem
Ad hominem

Attacking /supporting the person rather than the argument.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

circular reasoning
Circular reasoning

Assuming the truth of what you are supposed to be proving.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

special pleading
Special pleading

Using double standards to excuse an individual or group.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

equivocation
Equivocation

Using language ambiguously.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false analogy
False analogy

Assuming that because two things are alike in one way that they are alike in other respects.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false dilemma
False dilemma

Assuming that only a limited number of alternatives exist.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

loaded question
Loaded question

A question that is biased because it contains a built-in assumption.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

in each of the following cases decide which best applies to the argument
In each of the following cases, decide which best applies to the argument.

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

slide13

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

1.

Since strict gun control laws were introduced in Dodge City, the crime rate has risen. This shows that gun control does nothing to reduce crime.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

post hoc ergo propter hoc1
post hoc ergo propter hoc

Since strict gun control laws were introduced in Dodge City, the crime rate has risen. This shows that gun control does nothing to reduce crime.

slide15

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

2.

Cliff said he trusted me, and he must be telling the truth because he wouldn’t lie to someone that he trusted.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

circular reasoning1
circular reasoning

Cliff said he trusted me, and he must be telling the truth because he wouldn’t lie to someone that he trusted.

slide17

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

3.

The ends justifies the means. After all, if you want to make omelettes, you have to break eggs.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false analogy1
false analogy

The ends justifies the means. After all, if you want to make omelettes, you have to break eggs.

slide19

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

4.

Since the English always talk about the weather, if you meet someone who talks about the weather you can be sure they come from England.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

invalid syllogism
invalid syllogism

Since the English always talk about the weather, if you meet someone who talks about the weather you can be sure they come from England.

slide21

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

5.

That can’t be right, non of my friends would believe it.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

ad hominem1
ad hominem

That can’t be right, non of my friends would believe it.

slide23

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

6.

Since many great scientists have believed in God, there must be some truth in religion.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

ad hominem2
ad hominem

Since many great scientists have believed in God, there must be some truth in religion.

slide25

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

7.

Teddy and Seanne got on very well on their two dates together. They are clearly well suited and should get married.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

hasty generalisation1
hasty generalisation

Teddy and Seanne got on very well on their two dates together. They are clearly well suited and should get married.

slide27

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

8.

Do you want to be part of the solution, or part of the problem?

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false dilemma1
false dilemma

Do you want to be part of the solution, or part of the problem?

slide29

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

9.

I agree that you shouldn’t copy mp3s illegally, but I’ve only copied a few and I do buy tracks sometimes.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

special pleading1
special pleading

I agree that you shouldn’t copy mp3s illegally, but I’ve only copied a few and I do buy tracks sometimes.

slide31

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

10.

The average UK family has 2.5 children. The Smiths are average people, they must have 2.5 kids.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

equivocation1
equivocation

The average UK family has 2.5 children. The Smiths are average people, they must have 2.5 kids.

slide33

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

11.

Since no-one has been able to prove that God didn’t create the universe, we must conclude that God did make everything.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

ad ignorantium
ad ignorantium

Since no-one has been able to prove that God didn’t create the universe, we must conclude that God did make everything.

slide35

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

12.

Are all your family stupid, or is it just you?

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

loaded question1
loaded question

Are all your family stupid, or is it just you?

slide37

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

13.

Many great artists are not recognised in their own lifetimes. Since John’s work has not been recognised, he must be a great artist.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

invalid syllogism1
invalid syllogism

Many great artists are not recognised in their own lifetimes. Since John’s work has not been recognised, he must be a great artist.

slide39

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

14.

Since there are two candidates for student president – Meaghan and Noad – and I know Ingrid didn’t vote for Meaghan, so she must have voted for Noad.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false dilemma2
false dilemma

Since there are two candidates for student president – Meaghan and Noad – and I know Ingrid didn’t vote for Meaghan, so she must have voted for Noad.

slide41

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

15.

No one succeeds without hard work, the fact that you failed your exams shows how lazy you have been.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

invalid syllogism2
invalid syllogism

No one succeeds without hard work, the fact that you failed your exams shows how lazy you have been.

slide43

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

16.

No scandal has ever touched Simon. He must be a clean living and honest man.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

ad ignorantium1
ad ignorantium

No scandal has ever touched Simon. He must be a clean living and honest man.

slide45

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

17.

Just as you are more likely to take care of a car that you own rather than a car that you rent, a slave owner would look after a slave better than an employer would look after their worker.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false analogy2
false analogy

Just as you are more likely to take care of a car that you own rather than a car that you rent, a slave owner would look after a slave better than an employer would look after their worker.

slide47

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

18.

To ignore the possibility that Norway landed the first person on the moon just because nobody has heard of a Norwegian space program is arrogant. If we are unaware of something does not mean that it never happened.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

ad ignorantium2
ad ignorantium

To ignore the possibility that Norway landed the first person on the moon just because nobody has heard of a Norwegian space program is arrogant. If we are unaware of something does not mean that it never happened.

slide49

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

19.

In the fight against terrorism, you are either with the USA or against.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

false dilemma3
false dilemma

In the fight against terrorism, you are either with the USA or against.

slide51

Valid, invalid syllogism, hasty generalisation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, circular reasoning, ad hominem, special pleading, ad ignorantium, false dilemma, false analogy, equivocation, loaded question.

20.

The English can’t cook. If he really is English, thenobviously he won’t be able to cook.

“Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma”, Richard van de Lagemaat, Cambridge University Press

valid
Valid

The English can’t cook. If he really is English, thenobviously he won’t be able to cook.