xvii. Appeal to emotion

An argument based on favourable emotions associated with a proposition, rather than evidence of its truth. In many instances, the claim asserted under an appeal to emotion is concealed to some extent, where an audience is being urged to take some action based on the claim. Much of today’s advertising and politicking is based on the appeal to emotion.

xviii. Appeal to flattery

An appeal to flattery substitutes praise for evidence of an assertion – a person is plied with flattery to make them amenable to accepting a proposition.

xix. Appeal to spite

The appeal to spite involves an attempt to generate animosity over a claim in place of genuine evidence against the argument. The generation of malicious sentiment against a claim can be based on genuine evidence, however, and is not, therefore always fallacious, but in such cases the spiteful aspect of the claim can be distinguished from its valid content.

xx. Appeal to Ridicule

Appeal to Mockery, The Horse Laugh

The substitution of mockery of an argument for substantial evidence against it. Of course, ridicule of an argument could be based on plausible refutation, so mockery is not necessarily fallacious. An example is the use of “reductio ad absurdum”, reduction to absurdity, in which a claim is demonstrated to have ridiculous implications which cannot possibly be true.

Eg. 1+1=2! That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! (from The Nizkor project)

xxi. Ad Misericordium

Appeal to pity or the Fallacy of Special Pleading

Ad Misericordium concerns the substitution of a premiss aimed at creating pity for one based on actual evidence supporting a proposition. Pity can be invoked as justifiable support for a proposal in some instances.
The fallacy of special pleading occurs where a person accepts a standard concerning a particular action or belief, but exempts themselves from the judgement or standard without good reason. This fallacy is an abrogation of the principle of relative difference, which suggests two parties should not be treated differently unless a relative difference between them can be shown. If relative difference can be demonstrated, special pleading may not be fallacious. There is a difference of degree between those who plead exemption from a standard based on insufficient reason, and those simply exempting themselves.

xxii. Appeal to Vanity

Appeal to snobbery

The suggestion that members of a group an audience aspires to belong to subscribe to the argument being put forth.

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