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Green Sheet #6Logical Fallacies

1. Failing the test of appropriatness: degree to which the support is relevant to the claim
ad hominem (mud slinging): against the man; attacking the person/group instead of
addressing the issue.
My opponents arguments are very impressive, but remember this is the man who deserted his faithful
wife and family after he had won his first political victory.

ad populum (bandwagon): to the people appeal to the prejudice of the audience, often
using weasel words
Patriotism, motherhood, rugged individualism, Americanism vs. socialism, communism, godlessness,
radical

ad vericundium: to the authority appeal based on the authority of a source


studies show My dad says

ad misericordia: appeal to the pity/misery of the audience


I didnt get my homework done because, we had a late practice, I fought with my mom, my dog died, etc.

nonsequitur: it does not follow conclusion is not a logical result of the facts
Tom does not smoke or drink, so he aught to make a good husband

false analogy: analogy that does not stand up to logic


Doctors use x-rays during operations, so students should use books on tests.

post hoc, ergo propter hoc: after this, therefore because of it implying that because one
event follows another, the first caused the second (chronology is not causality)
I worked longer on this essay than any other before, so I should get my best grade ever

2. Failing the test of believability: degree to which the reader is willing to accept the assertions
supporting the claim.
hasty generalization: drawing conclusions based on insufficient or unrepresentative
evidence; using all instances when only some apply (leads to stereotypes)
All men are pigs All feminists hate men

stereotyping: prejudging an individual based on ideas one has about the group to which
the individual belongs
All athletes are bad students because of the dumb jock stereotype

begging the question: writer encourages begs readers to accept a conclusion without
any support, usually through circular reasoning
Women should not be allowed to join mens clubs because the clubs are for men

false authority: citing an expert on one subject as expert on another


Tiger woods selling Buicks

3. Failing the test of consistency: degree to which the support works together
slippery slope: one step will eventually lead to an undesirable second step
if we ban handguns, well end up banning hunting rifles

equivocation: using the same term with two or more meanings or referents
cant use the word law for natural law and legal law in the same argument

oversimplification: obscuring or denying the complexity of an issue


It all boils down to capital punishment being a simple question of protecting society.

double standard: two comparable things are judged according to different standards
admission standards for athletes vs. general population

either/or reasoning: black-or-white syndrome; those who tend to judge life by a twovalued rather than a multi-valued system.
Do you want to go to college or dig ditches your whole life?

smoke screen: stating idea meant to conceal or mislead


dwelling on speed, color, warranty, bells and whistles and not m.p.g or other criteria

red herring: bring in an irrelevant point to divert the readers attention from the main
issue being discussed

Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation

by Matt Slick
There are different kinds of logical fallacies that people make in presenting their positions. Below is a list of some of
the major fallacies. It is a good idea to be familiar with them so you can point them out in a discussion thereby
focusing the issues where they belong while exposing error.
It is true that during a debate on an issue if you simply point out to your "opponent" a logical fallacy that he/she has just
made, it generally gives you the upper hand. But then, merely having the upper hand is not the goal: truth is.
Nevertheless, logical fallacies hide the truth; so pointing them out is very useful.
1. Ad Hominem--Attacking the individual instead of the argument.
1. Example: You are so stupid your argument couldn't possibly be true.
2. Example: I figured that you couldn't possibly get it right, so I ignored your comment.
2. Appeal to Force--Telling the hearer that something bad will happen to him if he does not accept the argument.
1. Example: If you don't want to get beaten up, you will agree with what I say.
2. Example: Convert or die.
3. Appeal to Pity--Urging the hearer to accept the argument based upon an appeal to emotions, sympathy, etc.
1. Example: You owe me big time because I really stuck my neck out for you.
2. Example: Oh come on, I've been sick. That's why I missed the deadline.
4. Appeal to the Popular--Urging the hearer to accept a position because a majority of people hold to it.
1. Example: The majority of people like soda. Therefore, soda is good.
2. Example: Everyone else is doing it. Why shouldn't you?
5. Appeal to Tradition--Trying to get someone to accept something because it has been done or believed for a long
time.
1. Example: This is the way we've always done it. Therefore, it is the right way.
2. Example: The Catholic church's tradition demonstrates that this doctrine is true.
6. Begging the Question--Assuming the thing to be true that you are trying to prove. It is circular.
1. Example: God exists because the Bible says so. The Bible is inspired. Therefore, we know that God
exists.
2. Example: I am a good worker because Frank says so. How can we trust Frank? Simple: I will vouch
for him.
7. Cause and Effect--assuming that the effect is related to a cause because the events occur together.
1. Example: When the rooster crows, the sun rises. Therefore, the rooster causes the sun to rise.
2. Example: When the fuel light goes on in my car, I soon run out of gas. Therefore, the fuel light causes
my car to run out of gas.
8. Circular Argument--See Begging the Question
9. Fallacy of Division--Assuming that what is true of the whole is true for the parts.
1. Example: That car is blue. Therefore, its engine is blue.
2. Example: Your family is weird. That means that you are weird, too.
10. Fallacy of Equivocation--Using the same term in an argument in different places but the word has different
meanings.
1. Example: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Therefore, a bird is worth more than President
Bush.
2. Example: Evolution states that one species can change into another. We see that cars have evolved into
different styles. Therefore, since evolution is a fact in cars, it is true in species.
11. False Dilemma--Giving two choices when in actuality there could be more choices possible.

1. Example: You either did knock the glass over, or you did not. Which is it? (Someone else could have
knocked the glass over).
2. Example: Do you still beat your wife?
12. Genetic Fallacy--Attempting to endorse or disqualify a claim because of the origin or irrelevant history of the
claim.
1. Example: The Nazi regime developed the Volkswagen Beetle. Therefore, you should not buy a VW
Beetle because of who started it.
2. Example: Frank just got out of jail last year; since it was his idea to start the hardware store, I can't trust
him.
13. Guilt by Association--Rejecting an argument or claim because the person proposing it likes someone whom is
disliked by another.
1. Example: Hitler liked dogs. Therefore dogs are bad.
2. Example: Your friend is a thief. Therefore, I cannot trust you.
14. Non Sequitur--Comments or information that do not logically follow from a premise or the conclusion.
1. Example: We know why it rained today: because I washed my car.
2. Example: I don't care what you say. We don't need any more bookshelves. As long as the carpet is
clean, we are fine.
15. Poisoning the Well--Presenting negative information about a person before he/she speaks so as to discredit the
person's argument.
1. Example: Frank is pompous, arrogant, and thinks he knows everything. So, let's hear what Frank has to
say about the subject.
2. Example: Don't listen to him because he is a loser.
16. Red Herring--Introducing a topic not related to the subject at hand.
1. Example: I know your car isn't working right. But, if you had gone to the store one day earlier, you'd
not be having problems.
2. Example: I know I forgot to deposit the check into the bank yesterday. But, nothing I do pleases you.
17. Special Pleading (double standard)--Applying a standard to another that is different from a standard applied to
oneself.
1. Example: You can't possibly understand menopause because you are a man.
2. Example: Those rules don't apply to me since I am older than you.
18. Straw Man Argument--Producing an argument about a weaker representation of the truth and attacking it.
1. Example: The government doesn't take care of the poor because it doesn't have a tax specifically to
support the poor.
2. Example: We know that evolution is false because we did not evolve from monkeys.
19. Category Mistake--Attributing a property to something that could not possibly have that property. Attributing
facts of one kind are attributed to another kind. Attributing to one category that which can only be properly
attributed to another.
1. Example: Blue sleeps faster than Wednesday.
2. Example: Saying logic is transcendental is like saying cars would exist if matter didn't.

Logical Fallacies
Fallacies are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Fallacies can be either
illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points, and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim.
Avoid these common fallacies in your own arguments and watch for them in the arguments of others.
Slippery Slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small
steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z. So, if we don't want Z to occur, A must not
be allowed to occur either. Example:

If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars, so we should
not ban Hummers.
In this example, the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars, which is not the same thing.
Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. In other words, you are rushing to
a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. Example:
Even though it's only the first day, I can tell this is going to be a boring course.
In this example, the author is basing his evaluation of the entire course on only the first day, which is notoriously
boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend
not one but several classes, and possibly even examine the textbook, talk to the professor, or talk to others who have
previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused
'A.' Example:
I drank bottled water and now I am sick, so the water must have made me sick.
In this example, the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused
the second. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before, a flu bug that had been working on
the body for days, or a chemical spill across campus. There is no reason, without more evidence, to assume the water
caused the person to be sick.
Genetic Fallacy: This conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, institute, or theory
determine its character, nature, or worth. Example:
The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army.
In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. However,
the two are not inherently related.
Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Example:
Filthy and polluting coal should be banned.
Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. But the very conclusion that should be
proved, that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use, is already assumed in the claim by referring to it
as "filthy and polluting."
Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. Example:
George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively.
In this example, the conclusion that Bush is a "good communicator" and the evidence used to prove it "he speaks
effectively" are basically the same idea. Specific evidence such as using everyday language, breaking down complex
problems, or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence.
Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. Example:
We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth.

In this example, the two choices are presented as the only options, yet the author ignores a range of choices in between
such as developing cleaner technology, car-sharing systems for necessities and emergencies, or better community
planning to discourage daily driving.
Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than his or her opinions or arguments. Example:
Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty, lazy hippies.
In this example, the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested, much less evaluate those
strategies on their merits. Instead, the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group.
Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism, religion, democracy) or negative
(such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. Example:
If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want.
In this example, the author equates being a "true American," a concept that people want to be associated with,
particularly in a time of war, with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent
connection between the two.
Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than
addressing them. Example:
The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe, but what will fishers do to support their families?
In this example, the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an
economic issue, the livelihood of those catching fish. While one issue may affect the other it does not mean we should
ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals.
Straw Man: This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument.
People who don't support the proposed state minimum wage increase hate the poor.
In this example, the author attributes the worst possible motive to an opponent's position. In reality, however, the
opposition probably has more complex and sympathetic arguments to support their point. By not addressing those
arguments, the author is not treating the opposition with respect or refuting their position.
Moral Equivalence: This fallacy compares minor misdeeds with major atrocities.
That parking attendant who gave me a ticket is as bad as Hitler.
In this example, the author is comparing the relatively harmless actions of a person doing their job with the horrific
actions of Hitler. This comparison is unfair and inaccurate.
A Shakespearean Introduction to the Informal Fallacies
Ad Hominem. Literally translated to the man, this fallacy constitutes a personal attack on the opponent rather than on
the opponents views. An example might be referring to cold-hearted Shakespeare scholars only interested in
preserving their employment in an argument about the authorship of Shakespeares plays and poems. In Richard III,
Queen Elizabeth calls Richard That bottled spider, that foul bunch-backd toad! (IV.iv.81). This constitutes an attack
on Richards person rather than his position. Committing this fallacy has the potential of alienating members of your
audience.
Ad Misericordiam. The appeal to pity. There is nothing inherently wrong with an emotional appeal as a part of an
argument, but an argument shouldnt be solely based on an exploitation of the readers pity. Dont forget the old joke

about the man who murdered his parents and appealed to the court for leniency because he was an orphan. Similarly, an
appeal for clemency based solely on a rough childhood or racial prejudice may touch the hearts of a jury, but it wont
necessarily exonerate the client. The most tragic part of the authorship issue is that the Earl of Oxford does not have
the recognition he deserves. In As You Like It, Silvius uses the appeal to pity in an attempt to win the love of Phoebe:
Pity me, Phoebe . . .
Wherever sorrow is, relief would be:
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermined. (III.v.84, 86-89)
Ad Populum. To the people. Appeals to supposed prejudices and emotions of the masses, to popular sentiments. In
this modern age, we enlightened members of society recognize the ability of contemporary scholarship to detect fraud,
especially in claims about authorship. It might function as a smoke screen to hide a certain lack of ideasbut it only
fools the unwary. Very similar to the Bandwagon Appeal, which makes the claim that everyone is doing it, so wed
better get on the bandwagon: Everyone knows that someone else wrote the works attributed to William Shakespeare.
When Mark Antonys makes his speech at Caesars funeral in Julius Caesar, he uses both these fallacies to sway the
crowd: You all did love him once, not without cause: / What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? (III.ii.10203). The first part of his sentence appeals to the love everyone in the crowd had for Caesar once (in fact, many in the
crowd had just been convinced that his death was beneficial to Rome); the second part of his sentence implies that
everyone will be mourning Caesar and that they should join in with the crowd.
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. After this, therefore because of this. This fallacy establishes a questionable cause-effect
relationship between events: because event X follows event Y, therefore event Y caused event X. Every time I wash
my car it rains. Prostitution and drugs came to the area because riverboat gambling came. Hamlet was written after
the death of the Earl of Oxfords father; the Earls fathers death inspired the terrible outpouring of grief over a lost
father that the play so eloquently articulates. Macbeth is trapped by a classic Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy by
the witches in Macbeth: they tell him that he is Thane of Cawdor (though he doesnt, at that point, know that he is);
when the word comes that he is Thane of Cawdor, he assumes that it is because the Wird Sisters said he was.
Circular Reasoning. A diversionary tactic which seeks to prove a point with a reworded version of the same point.
The belief that William Shakespeare wrote the works attributed to him is untenable because such a position cannot
reasonably be held. That statement translates into The belief is untenable because its untenable. Hamlet plays with
circular reasoning when he delivers this line: Theres never a villain dwelling in all Denmark / But hes an arrant
knave (I.v.23-24). Horatios response is the appropriate response to all circular reasoning: There needs no ghost, my
lord, come from the grave / To tell us this (I.v.25-26).
Begging the Question. To assume that part of your argument is true without supporting itto pass off as proof
statements that must actually be supported themselves. Often announced with such diversionary tactics as the fact is,
obviously, or as we can seewhen in fact we cant. The accused is clearly innocent [or guilty] because the
accused passed [or failed] a polygraph test assumes that passing [or failing] a polygraph test is equivalent to being
innocent [or guilty]. Obviously, an important author like the man who wrote Shakespeares plays would have left a
diary behind. William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon didnt leave one; therefore, he cannot have written the
plays. One of Hamlets first responses to his encounter with his fathers ghost is this: It is an honest ghost (I.v.38).
Later in the play, he realizes that such an assumption commits the fallacy of begging the question, and he resolves to
test the proof of that statement: The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil (II.ii.598-99).
False Analogy. When two things that are being compared dont match up feature for feature, or when ideas being
compared do not logically connect or are pressed beyond legitimacy. Presents too few points of comparison or ignores
a fundamental difference in the nature or purpose of the two things being compared. This must be a great car, for, like
the finest watches in the world, it was made in Switzerland. England has free health care for all of its citizens. The
same program will work in the United States. Woody Allens films are widely recognized as autobiographical; the
plays attributed to William Shakespeare are likewise autobiographicaland they dont tell the biography of the man
from Stratford. In Hamlet, Hamlet employs a false analogy when he compares himself (and his lack of passionate
resolve) to an actor (and the actors seemingly passionate resolve):
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,

Could force his soul so to his own conceit


That from her working all his visage wannd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction ins aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? (II.ii.551-57)
Hasty Generalization. Conclusion is based on too little evidence. Ive seen Kenneth Branaghs Loves Labours Lost,
and I dont need to see any other films hes made. The man simply cannot direct. A generalization can only be as
sound as its supporting evidence. Is one corrupt Chicago official enough to form a judgment about all Chicago
officials? Be careful about making unqualified claims; avoid using words such as always, all, none, nobody, never,
only, and exclusively. In printed work during the late 1500s and early 1600s, a hyphenated name always indicated a
pseudonym. Since many of the plays have the hyphenated name Shake-Speare on their title pages, they must have
been written by someone else. This claim can be undermined by finding only one example of a hyphenated name that
does not indicate a pseudonym (and far more than one example exists). In Othello, Othello concludes that his wife has
been unfaithful to him based on a lost handkerchief and the words of Iago. It proves to be one of the hastiest of
generalizations.
Non Sequitur. Does not follow. Draws a conclusion that does not follow logically from the premise. Coal-burning
facilities produce noxious gasses; therefore, Nuclear Power Plants are safe. No books belonging to Shakespeare have
ever surfaced; therefore, he could not have written the plays attributed to him. When Hamlet refers to Polonius as
Jephthah, Polonius says, If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well (II.ii.411-12);
Hamlet immediately recognizes this as a non sequitur: Nay, that follows not (II.ii.413). Polonius inference is that
Hamlet wishes to point out that Polonius loves his daughter; Hamlet actually wishes to point out that Polonius is
willing to sacrifice his daughter just as Jephthah was willing to sacrifice his daughter.
Stacking the Deck. In science, this fallacy goes under the name data beautification. This fallacy occurs when an
author gives only the evidence that supports the premise while disregarding or withholding contrary evidence.
Advertising is replete with examples: The new Volkswagon Beetle is 700 percent quieter sounds good until we know
that its 700 percent quieter than Busch Stadium during the seventh game of the 2011 World Series! The Earl of
Oxford is mentioned in Francis Meres Palladis Tamia as among the best for comedy. That is true, but it neglects to
mention that Meres also says that Shakespeare is the most excellent in both [comedy and tragedy] for the stage,
which indicates not only that Shakespeare and the Earl are two separate individuals but that Shakespeare is the better
author of the two. The Wird Sisters in Macbeth tell Macbeth that none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth
(IV.i.80-81), but they withhold the important information that people born by Caesarian section are not included in their
definition of born of a woman.
False Dilemma. Reducing a complex issue to an either / or situation when more than two choices are available. The
person who wrote Shakespeares plays had extensive knowledge of Elizabethan legal proceedings that he must have
obtained either by having legal training or by possessing an aristocratic background. In A Midsummer Nights Dream,
Egeus says that his daughter Hermia must either marry the man he has chosen for her or be put to death. Duke Theseus
recognizes this as the fallacy of False Dilemma and offers a third alternativeto become a nun for the rest of her life. It
turns out that this, too, is merely an extension of the False Dilemma: even more choices than these three are available.
The Slippery Slope. Presumes that one event will inevitably lead to a whole chain of other events and ultimately to
catastrophe. Commonly used in highly-charged political issues, e.g., censorship or gun control: If we allow the
government to register handguns, next it will register hunting rifles; then it will prohibit all citizen ownership of guns,
thereby creating a world in which only outlaws have guns. If scholars continue to ignore the weight of evidence that
supports the Earl of Oxfords authorship, they will fall into disrepute, bringing their respective colleges into disrepute,
and, eventually, ending the true scholarly study of literature forever. In Henry V, King Henry outlines a Slippery Slope
of what will happen to the town of Harfleur if it does not surrender:
Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
Take pity of your town and of your people,
Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;
..................
If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand

Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;


Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
And their most reverend heads dashd to the walls,
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herods bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
What say you? will you yield, and this avoid,
Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroyd? (III.iii.27-29, 33-43)
Red Herring. Introducing a side issue, some point that is not at all relevant to the debate. The senator is an honest
man; he loves sports and plays with his children on weekends. William Shakespeare of Stratford cannot have written
the plays; his burial register describes him as gent. and not as poet. In Julius Caesar, Mark Antony is speaking at
Caesars funeral, pondering why the conspirators assassinated Julius Caesar. In his speech to the people, he turns from
that disscusion with these words: But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar; / I found it in his closet, tis his will
(III.ii.128-29). Caesars will isnt relevant to the debate over the reasons for Caesars assassination: its a Red Herring.
Appeal to Unqualified Authority. The kind of product endorsement common to advertising is usually guilty of this
fallacy. Wheaties must be healthy. Many successful athletes recommend it. I wouldnt take Michael Jordans advice
on foreign policy issues; neither would I cite Henry Kissinger as an authority on zone defense. Malcolm X questioned
Shakespeares authorship of the plays; therefore, Shakespeare cant have written them. In Much Ado About Nothing,
Claudio and Don Pedro believe that Claudios fiance Hero has been unfaithful to him on the word of the evil Don John
and his henchman Borachio. Don John and Borachio do not have the authority to make claims about Heros fidelity or
infidelity. As a side note, the well-qualified authorities of Hero and Beatrice, who do have specialized knowledge about
Heros fidelity or infidelity, are ignored.
Straw Man. A diversionary tactic. Attributing to your opponent erroneous and usually ridiculous views which can be
easily attacked. Dont mistake genuine counter-arguments for straw men. Those who think William Shakespeare of
Stratford wrote the plays are completely uninterested in the biographical details of anyone else living in that time
period. Hamlet attributes the quality of silliness to Polonius in an effort to get the better of him in front of the
travelling players: Hes for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps (II.ii.500-01).
Is / Ought. States that because a thing is so it ought to be so. Used by advocates for the status quo: You think we need
a stop sign at that corner? What do you mean? Weve never had a stop sign there. Hamlet is interpreted with details
from the Elizabethan Court; it ought always and only to be interpreted with those details. The Montagues and the
Capulets are locked in a feud at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet. They are feuding, but that doesnt mean that they
ought to be feuding.
Guilt by Association. States that two things are the same thing because they share an attribute. The Earl of Oxford
had knowledge of the aristocracy. The author of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare had knowledge of the
aristocracy. Therefore, the author of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare was the Earl of Oxford. In Romeo
and Juliet, Tybalt commits this fallacy when he thinks about Romeo. His argument is essentially this: I hate all
Montagues. Romeo is a Montague. Therefore, I hate Romeo.
Special Pleading. Disregarding contrary evidence on insufficient grounds. The best writers of the English
Renaissance had a university education. Yes, Ben Johnson, who lacked a university education, was a prolific and
popular author during the time and is still exceedingly well-regarded as one of the greatest of Shakespeares
contemporaries, but he doesnt really count. No one without a university education could have written the plays
attributed to Shakespeare. In Much Ado About Nothing, Leonatos daughter Hero is accused of being unfaithful. When
Beatrice says that she has been Heros roommate for a year (with the exception of the night before the accusation) and
would have noticed if she had been unfaithful, Leonato discounts this information on the insufficient grounds that
Heros accusers would not lie.
Personal Incredulity. Arguing that something is too complex or too incredible to be believed. The Shakespeare
Establishment continues to disregard all the evidence that proves that the Earl of Oxford wrote the plays. I cannot
understand how they can be so willfully ignorant. In The Tempest, Gonzalo cant quite credit the fact that Prospero

whom he saw banished many years agostands before him. He says, Whether this be, / Or be not, Ill not swear
(V.i.122-23). Prospero calls attention to the implicit fallacy of personal incredulity with these lines:
You yet do taste
Some subtleties o th isle, that will not let you
Believe things certain. (V.i.124-26).