Ad populum fallacy refers to a claim that something is true simply because that’s what a large number of people believe. In other words, if many people believe something to be true, then it must be true.
This type of argument is often used when there is no real evidence to back up a certain claim. Ad populum fallacy (also called bandwagon fallacy, appeal to numbers, or appeal to popularity) can be found in advertisements, political speeches, and everyday discussions.
Appeal to authority fallacy refers to the use of an expert’s opinion to back up an argument. Instead of justifying one’s claim, a person cites an authority figure who is not qualified to make reliable claims about the topic at hand. Because people tend to believe experts, appeal to authority often imbues an argument with credibility.
Appeal to authority is commonly used as a persuasion technique in advertising, politics, and everyday discussions.
Deep learning is a type of technology that allows computers to simulate how our brains work.
More specifically, it is a method that teaches computers to learn and make decisions independently, without explicitly programming them. Instead of telling a computer exactly what to look for, we show it many examples and let it learn on its own.
Deep learning is the technology behind many popular AI applications like chatbots (e.g., ChatGPT), virtual assistants, and self-driving cars.
The no true Scotsman fallacy is the attempt to defend a generalization by denying the validity of any counterexamples given. By changing the definition of who or what belongs to a group or category, the speaker can conveniently dismiss any example that proves the generalization doesn’t hold.
The word “Scotsman” can be replaced with any other type of group affiliation. The no true Scotsman fallacy often arises in discussions around political, social, and religious matters.
Begging the question fallacy is an argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises. It is an attempt to prove something is true while simultaneously taking that same thing for granted. This line of reasoning is fallacious because the assumption is not justified by any evidence.
In the example above, the conclusion (the belief in God is universal) validly follows from the premise (everyone believes in God), but only because the conclusion is simply a rewording of the premise. Here, we assume in the premise what we supposedly prove in the conclusion. This is a faulty line of reasoning, because you cannot assume what you are trying to prove.
The false dilemma fallacy involves presenting a limited number of options as if they were the only options available. This forces people to choose between two extremes, even though there is a spectrum of possibilities in between. The fallacy is misleading and prevents honest debate.
A false dilemma (or false dichotomy) is a common type of fallacy. It often appears in political speeches and advertisements, as well as informal everyday conversations. It is also known as the either or fallacy.
Pathetic fallacy is the attribution of human emotion to inanimate objects, nature, or animals. Writers use the pathetic fallacy to evoke a specific mood or feeling that usually reflects their own or a character’s internal state.
Although the pathetic fallacy is perfectly acceptable in fiction writing, it may be perceived as a sign of faulty reasoning in scientific writing and is best avoided in that context.
The genetic fallacy is the act of rejecting or accepting an argument on the basis of its origin rather than its content. Under the genetic fallacy, we judge a claim by paying too much attention to its source or history, even though this criticism is irrelevant to the truth of the claim.
As a result, we fail to present a case for why the argument itself lacks merit and to examine the reasons offered for it.
The equivocation fallacy refers to the use of an ambiguous word or phrase in more than one sense within the same argument. Because this change of meaning happens without warning, it renders the argument invalid or even misleading.
The equivocation fallacy can be used in a humorous way, but it can also be used in a deliberate attempt to confuse others or hide the truth.
Base rate fallacy refers to the tendency to ignore relevant statistical information in favor of case-specific information. Instead of taking into account the base rate or prior probability of an event, people are often distracted by less relevant information.
Due to this, people often make inaccurate probability judgments in medical, business, and everyday decision-making contexts. Base rate fallacy is also called base rate neglect or base rate bias.