Monday, February 22, 2010

Intersting Resources on Logic.

I am always spotting logical fallacies used by both atheists and Christians (and others) and at the same time I often get into disputes with atheists in which I find I must prove to them what a  certain fallacy is and what it is not. Toward this end I think it would help us all to learn of some websites that deal with logical fallacies.

One that I've been using for several years now The Nizkor Project. This is a fine site that deals with logical fallacies of many kinds. Nizkor project is dedicted to the Holocaust victims and is apparently ran by some Jewish group (although that doesn't' necessarily follow). I was under the impression that it's a group of Lawyers. They use a Tutorial done for Macintosh.

Dr. Michael C. Labossiere, the author of a Macintosh tutorial named Fallacy Tutorial Pro 3.0, has kindly agreed to allow the text of his work to appear on the Nizkor site, as a Nizkor Feature. It remains © Copyright 1995 Michael C. Labossiere, with distribution restrictions -- please see our copyright notice. If you have questions or comments about this work, please direct them both to the Nizkor webmasters ( and to Dr. Labossiere (
Their list of fallacies:


  1. Ad Hominem
  2. Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
  3. Appeal to Authority
  4. Appeal to Belief
  5. Appeal to Common Practice
  6. Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
  7. Appeal to Emotion
  8. Appeal to Fear
  9. Appeal to Flattery
  10. Appeal to Novelty
  11. Appeal to Pity
  12. Appeal to Popularity
  13. Appeal to Ridicule
  14. Appeal to Spite
  15. Appeal to Tradition
  16. Bandwagon
  17. Begging the Question
  18. Biased Sample
  19. Burden of Proof
  20. Circumstantial Ad Hominem
  21. Composition
  22. Confusing Cause and Effect
  23. Division
  24. False Dilemma
  25. Gambler's Fallacy
  26. Genetic Fallacy
  27. Guilt By Association
  28. Hasty Generalization
  29. Ignoring A Common Cause
  30. Middle Ground
  31. Misleading Vividness
  32. Personal Attack
  33. Poisoning the Well
  34. Post Hoc
  35. Questionable Cause
  36. Red Herring
  37. Relativist Fallacy
  38. Slippery Slope
  39. Special Pleading
  40. Spotlight
  41. Straw Man
  42. Two Wrongs Make A Right
Another site, fallacy Files, which uses the same data base as the Macintosh Tutorial.

this one uses several other sources in its data base as well:

  • Project.

  • Informal Fallacies

    From Charles Ess, a professor of religion and philosophy, comes this collection of 28 files on standard fallacies. It is based on his A Database of Informal Fallacies (1987), and consists mainly of examples, though some of the files are empty. Despite the title, there are a few formal fallacies covered. Also, since most of the files on individual fallacies contain no or little explanatory matter, this is not the best place to start out studying the fallacies. Complicating the situation even further is the fact that some nonfallacious examples are included, along with a "fallacy" which is no such thing, with no indication of which are supposed to be fallacious and which not. So, these files would seem to be of most use to someone wanting to test their understanding on a number of examples, with some ringers thrown in. Disappointingly, most of the examples are anecdotal, reconstructed from memory, or invented: there are few direct quotations, and no citations to allow one to examine the examples in their own words in context.

  • Silly Syllogisms

    By Fergus Duniho. A JavaScript program which randomly generates a categorical syllogism, and allows one to test it for fallacies. Since a randomly generated syllogism is more likely to be invalid than valid, this is a good test of fallacy spotting. The program also comes with a clear, brief tutorial on syllogisms and their fallacies.

  • Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies

    This is the granddaddy of fallacy web sites, first posted in 1995. Stephen Downes, an information architect with a master's degree in philosophy, created the site. It contains short entries for the standard list of fallacies, together with rather unrealistic, cooked-up examples. This guide is probably of most use for a quick check or refreshing of memory concerning a specific fallacy, rather than as a way to learn about fallacies. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to have been updated since '96.

    • The Fallacy Zoo

      Based on Stephen Downes' list, this site was created by Brian Yoder, a software engineer. Like Downes' site, it hasn't been updated in a long time. I include it mainly because I like the name.

 There's a fallacy site called "logical Fallacies" put up by the trade school "Capella University online."

 I don't like the way they deal with Pascals Wager but can't have everything.

There are other online sources I find these two are very good. Of course the major knowledge is still in books. Reading about logic in general is very helpful. One of the major logicians in America (long dead but still important to read) is C.I. Lewis (not to be confused with C.S. Lewis--atheists have in past thought I was trying to speak of the latter not the former).

Clarence Irving (C.I.) Lewis was perhaps the most important American academic philosopher active in the 1930s and 1940s. He made major contributions in epistemology and logic, and, to a lesser degree, ethics. Lewis was also a key figure in the rise of analytic philosophy in the United States, both through the development and influence of his own writings and through his influence, direct and indirect, on graduate students at Harvard, including some of the leading analytic philosophers of the last half of the 20th century.

a books by Lewis:

  • Lewis, C.I. 1918. A Survey of Symbolic Logic Berkeley: University of California Press. Reprinted by Dover Publications (New York), 1960, with the omission of Chapters 5-6.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1923, “A Pragmatic Conception of the A Priori”. Journal of Philosophy 20, pp. 169-77. Reprinted in Lewis (1970, pp. 231-239.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1929. Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge. New York: Charles Scribners. Reprinted by Dover Publications (New York), 1956.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1932. “Alternative Systems of Logic”. The Monist 42: pp. 481-507. Reprinted in Lewis (1970), pp. 400-419.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1936. “Verification and the Types of Truth”. Unpublished. Reprinted in Lewis (1970), pp. 277-293.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1941. “Logical Positivism and Pragmatism”. Not published in Revue Internationale de Philosophie due to German invasion of Belgium. Reprinted in Lews (1970), pp. 92-112.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1946. An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation . La Salle, Illinois: Open Court.
  • Lewis (1948), “Professor Chisholm and Empiricism”, Journal of Philosophy 45: 517-24. Reprinted in Lewis (1970), pp. 317-23.
  • Lewis, C.I. 1952a. “The Given Element in Empirical Knowledge”. Philosophical Review 61: 168-75. Reprinted in Lewis (1970), pp. 324-31.

 Of course Anthony Flew's Philosphical Dictinoary

Most helpful of all An actual Online Copy of Same!

You can look up fallacies in Flew's dictionary and it's one of the most authoritative sources. It's also great for reading through about philosophy in general.

these are just a small sample of what can be found on the net dealing with Logic.


A Hermit said...

Nizkor is a great site; I used it a lot a few years ago on the old Sympatico Canada forums while arguing with one of those right wingers who think Nazism was a left wing "socialist" movement...

Metacrock said...

O man those guys are so confused! Yea it's a good site.

Metacrock said...

what are people in Canada saying about Obama?

A Hermit said...

Obama? Nice guy, mostly we're just relieved he's not Bush. Wish he's be a little more aggressive passing his agenda though.

Where people get the idea he's a "socialist" is beyond me. He would be a good Conservative Party member up here...what we call a "Red Tory. ;-)

A Hermit said...

You and I should stick to politics, eh?

Metacrock said...

Obama? Nice guy, mostly we're just relieved he's not Bush. Wish he's be a little more aggressive passing his agenda though.

Where people get the idea he's a "socialist" is beyond me. He would be a good Conservative Party member up here...what we call a "Red Tory. ;-)

I figured, Americans are idiots.

February 23, 2010 6:44 AM
Blogger A Hermit said...

You and I should stick to politics, eh?

we are allies in politics