Appeal to tradition

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Appeal to tradition (also known as argumentum ad antiquitatem, appeal to antiquity, or appeal to common practice) is a common fallacy.

In this fallacy, an idea is claimed to be right because it is the way it was done in the past. The appeal takes the form of "this is right because we've always done it this way".[1]

An appeal to tradition essentially makes two mistakes:

  • The tradition might be entirely based on incorrect grounds.
  • The circumstances may have changed; so past justifications for the tradition may be invalid.

The opposite of an appeal to tradition is an appeal to novelty, claiming something is good because it is new.

References[change | change source]

  1. Trufant, William (1917). Argumentation and debating. Houghton Mifflin company. Digitized May 9, 2007.