Ali Almossawi (design director) and Alejandro Giraldo (illustrator) make cartoons of logical fallacies in our everyday arguments (“that political movement is bogus because unemployed millenials like them,” etc). Seriously, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments should be on every school curriculum. Twitter will be a more civil place. Less BS will spew forth from our disgusting mouths. Plus, the cartoons are charming and intuitive (the authors say they’re inspired by “Animal Farm” and Lewis Carroll).
Consider giving kudos and donations to Ali and Alejandro on the book’s homepage.
1. Guilt by Association
“Guilt by association is discrediting an argument for proposing an idea that is shared by some socially demonized individual or group. For example, My opponent is calling for a healthcare system that would resemble that of socialist countries. Clearly, that would be unacceptable.”
2. Appeal to Hypocrisy
You know this from every bickering couple you’ve met.
“Also known by its Latin name, tu quoque, meaning you too, the fallacy involves countering a charge with a charge, rather than addressing the issue being raised, with the intention of diverting attention away from the original argument.”
3. Ad Hominem
Launching irrelevant personal attacks in lieu of debating the actual topic at hand.
“For example, You’re not a historian; why don’t you stick to your own field. Here, whether or not the person is a historian has no impact on the merit of their argument.”
4. No True Scotsman
“For example, one may posit that programmers are creatures with no social skills. If someone comes along and repudiates that claim by saying, ‘But John is a programmer, and he is not socially awkward at all’, it may provoke the response, ‘Yes, but John isn’t a true programmer.’”
5. Genetic Fallacy
“Consider the following argument, Of course he supports the union workers on strike; he is after all from the same village. Here, rather than evaluating the argument based on its merits, it is dismissed because the person happens to come from the same village as the protesters.”
6. Appeal to Irrelevant Authority
“An argument becomes fallacious when the appeal is to an authority who is not an expert on the issue at hand. A similar appeal worth noting is the appeal to vague authority, where an idea is attributed to a vague collective. For example, Professors in Germany showed such and such to be true.”
7. False Dilemma
“A false dilemma is an argument that presents a set of two possible categories and assumes that everything in the scope of that which is being discussed must be an element of that set … For example, In the war on fanaticism, there are no sidelines; you are either with us or with the fanatics. In reality, there is a third option, one could very well be neutral; and a fourth option, one may be against both; and even a fifth option, one may empathize with elements of both.”
8. Appeal to Consequences
“Just because a proposition leads to some unfavorable result does not mean that it is false. Similarly, just because a proposition has good consequences does not all of a sudden make it true.”
9. Appeal to Fear
A signature tactic of nationalism.