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Fallacy

I. CONCEPT
Origin
Latin word fallacia, fallac, which means deceitful, or
to deceive
Meaning according to Blacks Law Dictionary
Any unsound, and usurious, deceptive, argument or
interference. In judicial opinions. The presence of a
fallacy in a legal argument is a defect often fatal and
usurious, deceptive in legal reasoning.
Meaning according to Tabucanons book of LegalWriting
Fallacy is an error in reasoning.
II. TYPES OF FALLACY
Formal fallacy
- or the deductive fallacy, is an invalid argument, an
erroneous inference. It is an error in deductive reasoning
where the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the
premises.

Informal fallacy
- or the inductive fallacy is an error in reasoning in a form
which does not follow the traditional formal structures of
logic.
Deduction
Deduction is to reason from general principles ( or truth) to a
particular instances of that truth.
Example;
1. All cats are mortal (Major premise)
Nica is a cat (Minor premise)
Therefore, Nica is mortal. (Conclusion)
2. If all members of the gang participated in the mauling,
and Pino is a member of the gang,
Therefore, Pino is guilty of mauling.
III. FORMAL FALLACY
also known as deductive or Logical fallacy, it presents an error
in deductive reasoning, in that the conclusion arrived at is
logically flawed or absurd.
Types of Formal Fallacy
A. Fallacy of the illicit major
This fallacy happens when the major term (predicate of
the major premise) is particular in the major premise, but is
general in the conclusion.
Examples:
1. All Bicolanos are Filipinos. (Major Premise)
Bicolanos are not Cebuanos. (Minor Premise)
Therefore, Cebuanos are not Filipinos (Conclusion)

2. All Catholics are Christians. (Major Premise)


Catholics are not Protestants. (Minor Premise)
Therefore, Protestants are not Christians. (Conclusion)
B. Fallacy of the Illicit Minor
Fallacy of the illicit minor happens when minor term
(predicate in the minor premise) is particular in the minor
premise but becomes general in the conclusion. The basis is
that (minor term) being particular, cannot sustain a general
conclusion, hence the fallacy.
Examples:
1. All lawyers are bar passers. (Major Premise)
All lawyers are professionals. (Minor Premise)
Therefore, all professionals are bar passers. (Conclusion

2. All criminals deserve to be punished. (Major Premise)


All criminals deserve another chance. (Minor Premise)
Therefore, all those deserving of another chance, deserve to
be punished. (Conclusion)
C. Fallacy of the undistributed middle
This fallacy occurs when the middle term (the term that appears
in both major and minor premise) remains particular in both
premises, but become general in conclusion.
Examples:
All criminals have tattoos. (Major Premise)
Jolino has tattoo. (Minor Premise)
Therefore , Jolino is a criminal. (Conclusion)

All communists are atheist. (Major Premise)


Lusino is an atheist. (Minor Premise)
Therefore, Lusino is a communist. (Conclusion)
IV. INFORMAL FALLACY
Informal fallacy is an error in reasoning occurring within
non-traditional forms of inference. Informal fallacies are also
known as semiformal, quasi-formal or inductive fallacies.

Examples of Informal Fallacy


Ad Hominem from Latin argument to the man is an
argument rejecting a persons views by attacking or abusing
his personality, character, motives, intentions, qualifications,
etc as opposed to providing evidence why the views are
incorrect.
Example:
What Jolino testified in court should not be believed. After
all, he is a known communist sympathizer.
Appeal to Belief also known as appeal to popularity
is the argument that because many people believe in a
claim, that must be true. It is fallacious in that just
because many people hold a belief to be true, such
believers are not an evidence that the claim put forward
is indeed true.

Example: During Galileos time, most believed the sun


revolved around the earth. And just because the majority
believed in it, does not mean it is true.
Appeal to Popularity argues that a claim or idea is
true simply because more people are inclined to accept
such claim or idea. The argument is fallacious in that the
such claim or idea. The argument is fallacious in that the
basis of ones conclusion or decision is not evidence but an
external factor which is widespread acceptance of a belief.
Example:
To my beloved Filipinos: Im running. After all, I
received a million signatures that urged me to run for
office. It is the will of the province
Gamblers Fallacy known as Monte Carlo fallacy
Example:
(Medical joke) Im sure you will survive. Medical literature
says that 10% survive in this illness. So far I have 9 patients and
they did not survive .You are my 10th , so you will survive.

Guilt by Association also known as bad company fallacy or


company that you keep fallacy, argues that an idea should not be
accepted simply because among those who accept the idea are
people one does not like. The argument is fallacious in that the
truth of an idea is not determined by the character of those who
accept it.
Example:
I dont like that movie. It is the favorite of my husbands ex
girlfriend.