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Logical  Fallacy: a error in reasoning
  (adj)     (noun)

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Statement #o118 Discussion

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Below is the statement as it appears with the fallacy marked as correct. You can see the totals of most frequent responses to this statement. And after reading the any discussion going on below, you can select your choice(s) for the correct answer. For now, whoever posts each statement can update corrections.
Before Class:
Bill: "Boy, that professor is a real jerk. I think he is some sort of Eurocentric fascist."
Jill: "Yeah."

During Class:
Prof. Jones: "...and so we see that there was never any 'Golden Age of Matriarchy' in 1895 in America."

After Class:
Bill: "See what I mean?"
Jill: "Yeah. There must have been a Golden Age of Matriarchy, since that jerk said there wasn't."
Poisoning the Well
Category: Fallacies of Relevance (Red Herrings) → Ad hominems (Genetic Fallacies)

This sort of "reasoning" involves trying to discredit what a person might later claim by presenting unfavorable information (be it true or false) about the person. This "argument" has the following form:

  1. Unfavorable information (be it true or false) about person A is presented.
  2. Therefore any claims person A makes will be false.
This sort of "reasoning" is obviously fallacious. The person making such an attack is hoping that the unfavorable information will bias listeners against the person in question and hence that they will reject any claims he might make. However, merely presenting unfavorable information about a person (even if it is true) hardly counts as evidence against the claims he/she might make. This is especially clear when Poisoning the Well is looked at as a form of ad Hominem in which the attack is made prior to the person even making the claim or claims. The following example clearly shows that this sort of "reasoning" is quite poor.

Click For Fallacy Description

 1,346 Total Answer Attempts   42%
 571 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 775 Incorrectly Un/Popped
( Random Image )

Most Common Responses

 
571 - Poisoning the Well
82 - Personal Attack
62 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
56 - Ad Hominem
46 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
44 - Appeal to Spite
42 - Biased Generalization
33 - Guilt by Association
32 - Appeal to Ridicule
29 - Confusing Cause and Effect
25 - Relativist Fallacy
25 - Genetic Fallacy
24 - Hasty Generalization
24 - Red Herring
23 - Misleading Vividness
23 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
19 - False Dilemma
17 - Peer Pressure
15 - Appeal to Popularity
14 - Fallacy of Composition
13 - Fallacy of Division
12 - Burden of Proof
12 - Gambler's Fallacy
12 - Slippery Slope
11 - Appeal to Belief
10 - Post Hoc
10 - Appeal to Emotion
10 - Appeal to Novelty
8 - Appeal to Tradition
8 - Begging the Question
6 - Appeal to Common Practice
6 - Appeal to Authority
5 - Special Pleading
5 - Ignoring a Common Cause
5 - Appeal to Pity
3 - Middle Ground
2 - Appeal to Flattery
2 - Appeal to Fear

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* Fallacious statements are usually paired with a random image of a person who never spoke those words.
This free site is for educational purposes, studying intellectual dishonesty. The images are being used under fair use. Sunflower by robstephaustrali.