Common logical fallacies

The top 10 common logical fallacies you need to know

Logical fallacies are pitfalls that can easily derail rational discussions and arguments.

Like me, you’ve probably been in meetings where these fallacies have surfaced. I admit, I’ve unintentionally used one or two myself.

Understanding these common logical fallacies is essential for critical thinking and effective communication.

Here’s a guide to the 10 most common logical fallacies you should be aware of:

1. Ad Hominem Fallacy

The Ad Hominem fallacy involves attacking the person instead of addressing the argument.

Example: “You’re too young to discuss politics, so your points are invalid.“

2. Strawman Fallacy

The Strawman fallacy is about misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.


A says: I think we should have more public libraries to encourage reading.“

B says: “Oh, so you think we should just waste taxpayer money on books nobody will read?“

3. Appeal to Authority Fallacy

This fallacy occurs when someone cites an authority figure in an area where the authority is not relevant.


A: Climate change is a serious issue that needs immediate action.“

B: Well, a famous actor said that climate change is just a hoax, so it must not be that important.“

4. Slippery Slope Fallacy

The Slippery Slope fallacy suggests that one event will inevitably lead to a chain of related events, often exaggerated.


A: “I think the city should install more surveillance cameras for public safety.“

B: “If we allow that, it’s only a matter of time before we’re living in a police state with zero privacy.“

5. False Dichotomy Fallacy

The False Dichotomy fallacy presents only two options when more exist.

Example: You’re either with us, or you’re against us.“

6. Circular Reasoning Fallacy

Circular Reasoning involves a conclusion that is also its own premise, creating a loop.

Example: The Bible is true because it says it’s true.“

7. Hasty Generalization Fallacy

This fallacy makes a broad claim based on limited or insufficient data.

Example: I met two rude New Yorkers; therefore, all New Yorkers must be rude.“

8. Red Herring Fallacy

The Red Herring fallacy introduces an irrelevant topic to divert attention from the subject at hand.


A: We need to focus on renewable energy to combat climate change.“

B: What about the job losses in the fossil fuel industry? Shouldn’t we be concerned about that?“

9. Post Hoc Fallacy

The Post Hoc fallacy assumes that correlation implies causation.

Example: I wore my lucky socks, and we won the game.“

10. No True Scotsman Fallacy

This fallacy redefines the criteria to exclude counterexamples.

Example: No true vegan would ever wear leather.“

Understanding these common logical fallacies can significantly improve your critical thinking skills and make your arguments more persuasive. Stay informed and avoid falling into these logical traps.

Optimize your thinking by recognizing these fallacies.

Make your arguments stronger and more credible.