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Essential Logic: The Logical Fallacies

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  1. Introduction
    Essential Logic: The Logical Fallacies---Course Introduction
    4 Topics
    |
    1 Quiz
  2. Lessons
    Lesson 1: Ad Hominem Abusive (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  3. Lesson 2: Ad Hominem Circumstantial (Preview Content)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  4. Lesson 3: Tu Quoque (Preview Content)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  5. Lesson 4: Genetic Fallacy
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  6. Lesson 5: Appeal to Fear (Argumentum Ad Baculum)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  7. Lesson 6: Appeal to Pity (Argumentum Ad Misericordiam)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  8. Lesson 7: Mob Appeal (Argumentum Ad Populum)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  9. Lesson 8: Snob Appeal
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  10. Lesson 9: Appeal to Illegitimate Authority (Argumentum Ad Verecundiam)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  11. Lesson 10: Chronological Snobbery
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  12. Lesson 11: Appeal to Ignorance
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  13. Lesson 12: Irrelevant Goals and Functions
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  14. Lesson 13: Irrelevant Thesis
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  15. Lesson 14: Straw Man Fallacy
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  16. Lesson 15: Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  17. Lesson 16: Bifurcation (False Dilemma)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  18. Lesson 17: Fallacy of Moderation
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  19. Lesson 18: Is-Ought Fallacy
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  20. Lesson 19: Fallacy of Composition
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  21. Lesson 20: Fallacy of Division
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  22. Lesson 21: Sweeping Generalization (Accident)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  23. Lesson 22: Hasty Generalization (Converse Accident)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  24. Lesson 23: False Analogy
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  25. Lesson 24: False Cause
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  26. Lesson 25: Fake Precision
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  27. Lesson 26: Equivocation
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  28. Lesson 27: Accent
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  29. Lesson 28: Distinction without a Difference
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  30. Lesson 29: The Frenetic Fallacy (Extra)
    1 Topic
  31. Discussions
    Discussion: Meet the Students
  32. Discussion: Four Students, Full of Fallacies
  33. End of Course Test
    End of Course Test: The Logical Fallacies
    1 Quiz
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The phrase ad hominem is short for argumentum ad hominem or “argument to the man.” This the classic personal attack in which someone seeks to win a debate by personally abusing his opponent rather than by engaging the issue at hand. It is very common in political debate and controversy.

The word hominem is derived from the Latin homo, homenis, which means “man.” It is related to the Latin word humus (“earth”) and humanus (that one “of the earth,” the human). You will also recognize homo in the phrase homo sapiens—the “wise” man.

The Latin word humanitas described the state of a cultivated or educated human with well-developed human capacities. From humanitas we derive our ideas of the “humanities”—those arts that perfect our human capacities to use language and mathematics, for example.