Compendium of logical fallacies that confuse and misdirect and that frequently arise in discussions of AI and AGI.
Common Logical Fallacy Definitions
Ad Hominem / Circumstantial Ad Hominem
An attack on an opponent personally rather than on the basis of their argument. A Circumstantial Ad Hominem fallacy is an argument that an opponent's conclusion is wrong due to the opponent's personal situation or perceived benefit from their conclusion rather than the merits of the conclusion itself.
Appeal to Accomplishment
Accepting an assertion based on the accomplishments of the proposer.
Appeal to Authority
Accepting an assertion as true because of the position or authority of the person asserting it.
Appeal to Consequences
A conclusion based on the positive or negative outcome of a premise rather than on the merit of the premise itself.
Appeal to Emotion
An argument employing the manipulation of emotions rather than the merits of its premise.
Appeal to Ignorance
Assuming that a claim is true because it has not been proven false, or vice versa.
Appeal to the Stone
Dismissing an argument as absurd without demonstrating proof of its absurdity.
Argument From Incredulity
A conclusion that because something seems beyond the capacity of its proposer to explain or quantify, it must be supernatural in nature.
An argument that disregards the opportunity cost of its premise. For example, stating that breaking a window is good because it generates income for a window repairperson, while disregarding the fact that the money and other resources spent on the new window is no longer available to be spent on other things.
Basing an argument on a chosen subset of data that boosts the argument while ignoring the equally valid data that counter the argument.
Stating what is essentially the conclusion of an argument as a basis for that argument.
The misleading use of a term with multiple meanings to advantageously obfuscate its use in an argument.
Employing an analogy in an argument that is poorly suited to the parameters of that argument.
Oversimplifying the range of options in a premise or conclusion, typically by assuming only one of two options is possible.
Basing a broad conclusion on an insufficient sample or stating a conclusion without all of the information required to do so.
An assertion without proof or evidence, literally “He himself said it." It’s similar to an Appeal to Authority, with the authority being the person promoting the assertion.
The assumption that simplified models can accurately predict real world processes. This assumption involves a failure to take into account the unknown unknowns when concluding the probability of events or outcomes.
Mind Projection Fallacy
Arguments in which the premise is based on subjective judgments of an object or situation rather than on objective observation. The assumption is made that these subjective judgments are inherent properties rather than personal perceptions, that other people share these perceptions, and that any who don't are irrational or misinformed.
Moving the Goalposts
Dismissing a response to an argument by changing the parameters of that argument or the requirements of a successful counter argument.
Shifting the burden of proof from the one who makes a claim to the one who refutes or questions it.
Treating a hypothetical construct as if it were a real-world object, event, or situation.
An argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.
Some New Logical Fallacy Definitions
Basing a premise on a hypothetical technical situation that could only arise through completely inept engineering. Typically used by non-engineers to make a point, without recognizing that the technology in question would never be designed as hypothesized by any engineer other than a fictional one.
Inflating the importance of one object, event, or situation over another without providing evidence or objective justification for such a hierarchy.
Stating an initial, unproven proposition then basing subsequent conclusions on that proposition as if it had been proven. This typically involves a preliminary conjecture supported only by hand-waving arguments followed by conclusions that only follow if that conjecture had in fact been proven. It's related to the Ipse Dixit fallacy, which is an assertion without proof or evidence. The difference is that the fallacy in Ipse Dixit is the initial assertion and the fallacy in Unproven Basis is making the subsequent assertions whose only evidence is that initial statement.