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Accidental Correlation

A connection between two things that seems causal but is not.

From the text: We cannot say that just because A precedes B or is correlated with B, that A caused B. To claim that since A precedes or correlates with B, A must therefore be the cause of B is to commit what is called the false cause fallacy.

Analytic/Synthetic Statements

A statement is said to be analytic when it is true in virtue of the subject of that statement. For instance, "a triangle has three side" is analytic because the concept triangle has three sides by definition.

A statement is synthetic when it amplifies the concept that it refers to. For instance, "triangles are green" is a synthetic statement because the concepts triangle and green are mutually exclusive (one doesn't contain the other).

See also The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Appeal to authority

"You appeal to authority if you back up your reasoning by saying that it is supported by what some authority says on the subject. Most reasoning of this kind is not fallacious, and much of our knowledge properly comes from listening to authorities. However, appealing to authority as a reason to believe something is fallacious whenever the authority appealed to is not really an authority in this particular subject, when the authority cannot be trusted to tell the truth, when authorities disagree on this subject (except for the occasional lone wolf), when the reasoner misquotes the authority, and so forth. Although spotting a fallacious appeal to authority often requires some background knowledge about the subject or the authority, in brief it can be said that it is fallacious to accept the words of a supposed authority when we should be suspicious of the authority’s words.


The moon is covered with dust because the president of our neighborhood association said so.

This is a Fallacious Appeal to Authority because, although the president is an authority on many neighborhood matters, you are given no reason to believe the president is an authority on the composition of the moon. It would be better to appeal to some astronomer or geologist. A TV commercial that gives you a testimonial from a famous film star who wears a Wilson watch and that suggests you, too, should wear that brand of watch is using a fallacious appeal to authority. The film star is an authority on how to act, not on which watch is best for you."

“Fallacies” by Bradley Dowden, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002,, 15 Jan. 2023.


An argument is a set of statements, some of which (the premises) attempt to provide a reason for thinking that some other statement (the conclusion) is true.


Begging the question

Begging the question occurs when one (either explicitly or implicitly) assumes the truth of the conclusion in one or more of the premises. Begging the question is thus a kind of circular reasoning.


False Dichotomy

false dichotomy is simply the presentation of two choices which does not include all of the possible options.



A premise is a statement within an argument that is meant to logically support a conclusion.



statement is a type of sentence that can be true or false and corresponds to the grammatical category of a declarative sentence.