Argument from authority

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Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a form of argument or reasoning which may give rise to a fallacy when misused.[1]

In informal reasoning,[2] the appeal to authority is an argument of the form:

A is an authority on a particular topic
A says says something about that topic
A is probably correct

Statistically, that may often be right. However, it might be wrong in a particular case. In that case, it would be a fallacy. Thus, the appeal to authority is not a generally reliable argument for establishing facts.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Logical Fallacies". Fall 2008. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  2. Salmon, M.H. (2006). Introduction to critical reasoning. Mason, OH: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 118–9.
  3. Walton, Douglas 2008. Informal logic. London: Cambridge University Press, p84. ISBN 0-521-71380-3