Informal Logic 101

think puzzle piece in headI have grouped the links to all entries of my multi-part series on informal logic into one place for your convenience (though a search on “informal logic” would give you a nice list of links, too)…


How to Think and Argue Better

Part 1: Firm Foundation

Topics —

  • God’s logic vs. Man’s logic
  • Eastern logic vs. Western logic
  • Three Foundational Laws of Logic (Law of Noncontradiction, Law of Excluded Middle, Law of Identity)


Part 2: Propositions and Logical Relationships

Topics —

  • Four Categorical Propositions (Universal affirmative proposition, Universal negative proposition, Particular affirmative proposition, Particular negative proposition)
  • Four Types of Logical Relationships (Contradictory, Contrary, Subcontrary, Subalternation)


Part 3: Logical Suicide and Staying on TRACK

Topics —

  • Introduction to the idea of “self-referentially absurd” statements
  • Helpful TRACK mnemonic


Part 4: Three Ways to Argue

Topics —

  • Deductive reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Abductive reasoning


Part 5: Facts Over Feelings

Topics —

  • Argumentum ad baculum” fallacy
  • Argumentum ad misericordiam” fallacy
  • Argumentum ad populum” fallacy
  • Genetic fallacy


Part 6: Avoiding Presumptions

Topics —

  • “Wishful thinking” fallacy
  • Petitio principii” (aka “Begging the question”) fallacy
  • “Complex question” fallacy


Part 7: Causes and Comparisons

Topics —

  • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy
  • Non causa pro causa” fallacy
  • “Oversimplified cause” fallacy
  • “Slippery slope” fallacy
  • “Faulty analogy” fallacy


Part 8: Validity and Clarity

Topics —

  • Argumentum ad vericundiam” fallacy
  • Argumentum ad ignorantiam” fallacy
  • “Hasty generalization” fallacy
  • “Equivocation” fallacy
  • “Amphiboly” fallacy


Part 9: Apples, Oranges, and Character Assassination

Topics —

  • “Category mistake” fallacy
  • Argumentum ad hominem” fallacy
    • (abusive, circumstantial, tu quoque, guilt by association)


Part 10: Scarecrows, Decoys, and Invisible Elephants

Topics —

  • “Straw man” fallacy
  • “Red herring” fallacy
  • “Suppressed evidence” fallacy


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