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Argument from authority

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Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.



  • The church says the Earth is flat, therefor the Earth is flat.


Latin Translation: 'Argument to respect' AKA 'Appeal to Authority'.

Definition: An argument or claim is fallacious when the person presenting it is not a legitimate authority on the subject in question and presents their argument or claim on the basis of their authority.

General Information: The argument or claim on the subject is flawed because the claim of its legitimacy does not provide any evidence or justification for the claim. The argument or claim may be true, but the fact that an unqualified person has made the argument or claim does not provide justification for accepting the argument or claim to be true.

Fallacy Structure: 1) Person A makes a claim to be an authority on subject Y. 2) Person A makes claim X on subject Y. 3) Therefore claim X is true.

Example: Person A: I am an expert on the subject of evolution. (False claim) Person A: Homo Sapiens evolved from chimpanzees. (False claim)


Person A: I am a historian. (False claim) Person A: It was Napoleon Bonaparte who said, "If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god." (True claim)

--Raymanbrint 11:14, 16 July 2007 (CDT)

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