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Archive for Appeal to Emotion (Pathos)

Getting Away With It

July 18, 2012 No Comments

Getting away with it: A particular kind of emotional appeal, related to indignation, that suggests that somebody *must be* doing something wrong, because if he or she were *not* doing something wrong, he or she would not have been able to get the good things that he or she has.

Definitional Matters, Getting away with something

Appeal To Flattery

July 16, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to flattery: ‘Only smart people agree with me’ – therefore, if you agree, you’re smart!

Appeal to Flattery, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Kindness

July 15, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Kindness: doing things for people for their own sake, not for oneself (see friendship)

Appeal to Kindness, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Pity

July 15, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Pity: unpleasant emotion when witnessing an evil that befalls someone who does not deserve it.

Appeal to Pity, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Indignation

July 14, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Indignation: the opposite of pity: witnessing a good that befalls someone who did not deserve it.

Appeal to Indignation, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Fear

July 14, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Fear: self-explanatory emotion – usually involves making a threat out to be (a) strong (b) present and (c) irrational.

Appeal to Fear, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Envy

July 13, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Envy: unpleasant emotion that arises when good things happen to people whom we consider our equals.

Appeal to envy, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Confidence

July 13, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Confidence: the opposite of fear – the threat isn’t as strong as it is made out, is a long way off, or isn’t irrational.

Appeal to Confidence, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Calm

July 12, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Calmness: the opposite of anger – shared experiences, values, ‘we’re all in this together’, etc.

Appeal to Calm, Definitional Matters

Appeal To Anger

July 12, 2012 No Comments

Appeal to Anger: Pointing out how one’s opponent has belittled that which we hold dear.

Appeal to Anger, Definitional Matters
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Fake Expert

Fake Expert: A fallacious appeal to authority in which the 'expert' is not an expert at all.

Expert in the wrong domain

Expert in the wrong domain: a fallacious version of an appeal to authority - i.e. appealing to a doctor...

Slippery Slope

Slippery slope: If we take one step, we’ll have to take all the rest of them because there’s no...

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: “After this, therefore because of this”, a fallacy in reasoning about causes. (I took...

Poisoning The Well

Poisoning the well: Telling the audience what to think of a speaker when you’re introducing the speaker (My next...

Loaded Question

Loaded question: A question with an unacceptable pre-supposition. (Why do you hate America so much? – Stephen Colbert)

Fallacies of Relevance

Fallacies of Relevance: Bringing up irrelevant considerations in an effort to distract listener from the merits of the actual...

Guilt By Association

Guilt by Association: You are just the same as X, and X is terrible. Therefore, you’re terrible (the conclusion...

Genetic Fallacy

Genetic fallacy: Saying that some idea’s history or origin (genesis) means it is true/false.


Equivocation: when an argument relies on an ambiguous word (a word with more than one possible meaning), shifting in...


Enthymeme: general term for an argument with a gap (missing premise)

Confusing Correlation With Causation

Confusing Correlation With Causation: (Buying gas is correlated with owning a car. Clearly, buying gas causes car ownership.)

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: seeing what you believe; interpreting observations/data to match a conclusion you already have in mind.

Undermining Biography

Undermining Biography: sewing seeds of doubt due to questionable background. Also known as ‘swiftboating’.