Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that render an argument invalid. They are often used to manipulate or deceive, and can be difficult to spot.

Fallacy of composition

If it's true for one, it's true for all.

Fallacy of division

If it's true for all, it's true for one.

Gambler's fallacy

The probability of an event is influenced by previous events.

Tu quoque

You're a hypocrite, so your argument is invalid.

Who are you to talk?

Straw man

Wilfully misrepresenting someone's argument, often in a hyperbolic fashion, to make it easier to attack.

Ad hominem

Attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself.

Genetic fallacy

Assuming an argument is invalid because of its source.

Fallacious appeal to authority

Because an authority figure says it, it must be true.

Red herring

Introducing irrelevant information to distract from the argument.

Appeal to emotion

Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid argument.

Appeal to popularity (bandwagon)

Appeal to tradition

Appeal to nature

Appeal to ignorance

Begging the question

Assuming to be true what you're trying to prove.


Using one word to mean two different things.

False dichotomy

Black/white; there is no middle ground.

Middle ground

Assuming the answer lies in the middle ground of two extremes.

Decision point

Can't distinguish between two things because they're on a scale.

Slippery slope

If we allow this, then this will happen, all the way to doom.

Hasty generalisations (anecdotes)

Drawing a conclusion from a small sample size.

Faulty analogy

Drawing a conclusion from a poor analogy.

Burden of proof

The burden is on the person making the claim, not those disputing it.

Affirming the consequent

If P, then Q. Q, therefore P.

Denying the antecedent

If P, then Q. Not P, therefore not Q.

Moving the goalposts

Changing the criteria of a test after it has started.

False cause

Correlation does not imply causation.

Texas sharpshooter

Cherry-picking data clusters to suit an argument.

Loaded question

Asking a question that has an assumption built into it, such that it can't be answered without appearing guilty.

No true Scotsman

Dismissing counterexamples as exceptions.

Personal incredulity

Because I can't understand it, it must not be true.

Fallacy fallacy

Just because an argument is fallacious, it doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong.

Sunk cost

Continuing to invest in something because you've already invested in it.