How-To Geek

Get Your Logical Fallacies Straight with this Rhetological Fallacies Chart

Have trouble telling your Ad Hocs from your Ad Hominems? Fear not, this extensive and easy to read logical fallacy chart makes it easy to tell when someone is begging the question or suffering from a confirmation bias.

Rhetological Fallacies Chart [via Neatorama]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/2/12

Comments (5)

  1. Howard

    I think I see one that was not included which I have always called “The Stolen Concept” which takes the form of assuming what are you are trying to disprove in order to make your case.

    The best example is “I always lie” where one assumes one is telling the truth to make the statement while trying to claim just the opposite (i.e. that one always lies).

    Another is the statement “Nothing is for sure” where one obviously is claiming that something is for sure.

  2. Jeffeb3

    This isn’t a good list of logical fallacies. It has bad examples of some (the billions of galaxies with billions of stars is a logical argument, if coupled with legitimate probabilities). It’s also missing some good ones, like Ad Hominem, which is the argument that someone can’t be trusted on a subject when they aren’t good at it themselves. A good example is an obese person knowing facts about dieting.

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting to say the least.

    So I looked up the words “ad” and “Hominems” to see what my handy dated 1980 American Heritage Dictionary had to say (you know, one of those funny books with paper pages):

    Ad – An Advertisement

    A.D. – 1. Active Duty 2. anno Domini

    Hominems – (No such word)

    Homonym – One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning. (In my own encounters of poor writing I often see words like “their,” ” there,” ” they’re” being incorrectly used – even from HTG’s own writers although, rarely).

    Now when I looked up the word “adhominem” (curious why my spell check can’t find that word even though it’s actually in my dictionary) I saw the following:

    Adhominem – Appealing to prejudice rather than reason. [L. “to the man.”]

    So maybe it’s me when I find someone’s list of logical arguments just a little hard to swallow when those arguments are apparently based on made up words. Then again, maybe Ad-hominem is a new compound word (a word made up of two words) which may be compound Latin Greek or something. Hopefully, someone like a college English professor can explain? (Someone with actual credentials?)

    Certainly, “Ad Hominem” can’t mean “Bypassing the argument by launching an irrelevant attack on the person and not their claim.” Cause if I were to accept that definition I might be guilty of accepting the authors own definition of “Appeal to Anonymous Authority.” After all, Mr. McCandless’ (the author) own sources mainly include publicly edited sources of unchallenged and anonymous authorities. FYI: Wikipedia is rife with anonymous authors. So isn’t using any Wiki a bit like accepting the “Appeal to Common Practice” since we have no idea what the credentials of the authors are?

    Nevertheless, it’s still a fun read.


  4. r

    All in all not very interesting.

    Looks like something compiled & somewhat re-worked from a first year Philosophy student.

  5. Henry

    I like Schopenhauer’s 38 strategems better. Check it out if you’ve never read it before. It’s way better than this.

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