Glossary and References


Accident Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when a generally true statement is applied to a specific case that is unusual.
Ambiguity Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when a word having more than one meaning appears in the argument.
Analysis The process of asking what is happening in a message through breaking it into its individual components and asking questions of each section.
Appeal to Authority A fallacy that occurs when the truth of a proposition is thought to rest in the opinion of a famous other or authority.
Appeal to Ignorance A fallacy that occurs when we argue something must be accepted because it cannot be proven otherwise.
Appeal to Pity A fallacy that occurs when an argument attempts to win acceptance by focusing on the unfortunate consequences that will occur if it is not accepted.
Argument Statements that combine reasoning with evidence to support an assertion.
Bad Reasons Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when then we assume the conclusion of an argument to be bad because a part of the argument is bad.
Begging the Question A fallacy that occurs when the conclusion of the argument is also used as one of the premises.
Black and White Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when the audience is only given two choices.
Composition Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when we assume that traits inherent in the parts are also present when the parts are combined into a whole.
Critical Thinking Active thinking in which we evaluate and analyze information in order to determine the best course of action.
Deduction An argument in which the truth of the premises of the argument guarantee the truth of its conclusion.
Division A fallacy that occurs when we assume that the trait of a whole occurs when the whole is divided into its parts.
Evaluation The process of assessing the various claims and premises of an argument to determine their validity.
Evidence Research, claims, or anything else that is used to support the validity of an assertion.
Fallacy A flaw or error in reasoning.
Fallacy of Quantitative Logic A fallacy that occurs when we misuse quantifying words such as “all” or “some.”
False Analogy A fallacy that occurs when there exists a poor connection between two examples used in an argument.
False Cause A fallacy that occurs when there exists a flawed connection between two events.
Genetic Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when the individual is attacked.
Hearing The physiological process of receiving noise and sounds.
Imply To suggest or convey an idea.
Induction An argument in which the truth of its propositions lend support to the conclusion.
Infer To draw a conclusion that rests outside the message.
Interpretation Explaining and extrapolating the conclusions that we draw from a statement.
Listening The psychological process of attaching meaning to the sounds and noises we hear.
Masked Man Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when we substitute parties that are not identical within an argument.
Non sequitor An argument where the conclusion may be true or false, but in which there exists a disconnect within the argument itself.
Premise A proposition (statement) supporting or helping to support a conclusion; an assumption that something is true.
Red Herring Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when an irrelevant issue is introduced into the argument.
Self-regulation The process of reflecting on our pre-existing thoughts and biases and how they may influence what we think about an assertion.
Slippery Slope Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when we assume one action will initiate a chain of events that culminate in an undesirable event.
Strawman Fallacy A fallacy that occurs when the actual argument appears to be refuted, but in reality a related point is addressed.
Syllogism A form of deductive argument in which the conclusion is inferred from the premises. Most syllogisms contain a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.


Aristotle. (1989). Prior Analytics (Trans. Robin Smith). Cambridge, MA: Hackett Publishing.

Beyer, B. K. (1995) Critical thinking. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.

Dewey, J. (1933). Experience and education. New York: Macmillan, 1933.

Elder, L. & Richard, P. (1996). Universal Intellectual Standards. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. Retrieved from: eID=527&CategoryID=68

Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction, The Delphi Report (Executive Summary). Millbrae, CA: California Academic Press.

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