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Appeals to False Authority Fallacy

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by

Meghan Donnelly

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of Appeals to False Authority Fallacy

Appeals to False Authority Fallacy
Definition
Examples of Memes:
This meme is featuring false authority because it is representing how society accepts things most of the time. This is an example of a single person saying something, so it must be true.
Meme Example 2
This meme represents the thought process of many people. This is deductively fallacious.
Visual Example 1
Logical Form
not using enough evidence when making your argument
only using one person
example: according to this person, Y is true. Therefore, Y is true.
Variations
using testimonials as "authoritative" or taking what they say as more serious than what they were meant to be
Appeal to False Authority:
using evidence in your argument when the authority isn't authority on the fact
irrelevant to argument
a writer offers themselves as sufficient evidence and completely authoritative
(http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/21-appeal-to-authority)
Lunsford, Andrea A., and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything's an Argument: With
Readings. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007. Print

Visual Example 2
In this Pantene commercial, the use of the celebrity is only to back up Pantene's claim.
These Celebrities are not authoritative on cameras.
News Editorial Example 1
In this example, an ABC News reporter said that "“It’s not class warfare to ask everyone in the country to pay their fair share.
To say the wealthy have taken advantage of their political position and have not paid their share of taxes is not class warfare. It’s a statement of fact,” Stiglitz told ABC News. “The fact is they are paying lower taxes and most Americans think this is unjust and unfair.
Tax loopholes don’t just appear out of thin air. They are the result of big political investments that rich people have particularly made to get tax preferences.” He didn't speak the to tactics Obama was under fire for using. He spoke to the act of raising the taxes on the rich and then engaged in a little class welfare. This is an appeal to false authority not because the speaker isn't an expert, but because he is biased, so he is untrustworthy in presenting the facts.
News Editorial Example 2
Recently an Ohio newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal, printed a series of articles attacking homeschooling. They claim that little is known about homeschoolers and suggest the government should tightly monitor and regulate the movement. They quote school officials and focus groups who say that homeschooling can hide child abuse and failing students. The main fallacy used in the Beacon Journal articles is faulty appeal to authority. David Swarbrick estimates that “60 percent of homeschoolers are on par with the public schools, 20 percent are above and 20 percent are below.” Is he an authority on comparing the academic accomplishments of homeschool students to government school students? Swarbrick is a math tutor for 225 homeschool students in Texas. Based on what these articles say, he only has contact with students who need tutoring in math – probably not a good cross section of homeschoolers. To appeal to his expert knowledge would be a faulty appeal to authority.
More Examples of False Authority Fallacy
This ad claims that a large number of physicians say it's less irritating, but that could mean anything, and it doesn't say anything about the physicians.
using testimonials as "authoritative" or taking what they say as more serious than what they were meant to be
"Appeal to Authority." Appeal to Authority. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
"Fallacy: Appeal to Authority." Fallacy: Appeal to Authority. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
"Logical Fallacies." Logical Fallacies Appeal to Authority Comments. Web. 21 Nov.2014.
Lunsford, Andrea A., and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything's an Argument: With Readings. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007. Print.
"Newspaper Logic: Akron Beacon Journal Attack on Homeschooling." Fallacy Detective. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.

Bibliography
Full transcript