The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (June 2020)
Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a form of argument or reasoning that argues if a person with authority in a field makes a statement about it, it is probably true. It could become a fallacy if it is misused.
In informal reasoning, the appeal to authority is an argument of the form:
- A is an authority on a particular topic
- A says something about that topic
- A is probably correct
The argument is good in some conditions. For example, a person says, "I need to take my medication because my doctor told me to." Doctors are trained, know much about medication, and probably have experience giving medication before. The person is appealing to a real authority with supported data that makes the authority probably right.
The argument is bad when there is a false authority or unclear authority. For example, "I know X is true because it said so on the internet." The complete internet has no authority because any person on the internet can say anything they want. A part of the internet may have authority, but it is unclear because the argument was not specific.
References[change | change source]
- "Logical Fallacies". Stanford.edu. Fall 2008. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- Salmon, M.H. (2006). Introduction to critical reasoning. Mason, OH: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 118–9.
- Fallacies, Patrik Edblad in Logical (2018-11-30). "The Appeal to Authority Fallacy: How To Avoid Getting Fooled By Expert Opinion". Patrik Edblad. Archived from the original on 2020-06-20. Retrieved 2020-06-19.