Saturday, October 28, 2006

Logical Fallacies, Part 17: Appeal to Prestige

The logical fallacy of appeal to prestige is an inappropriate reference to the reputation of a subject to support an argument. Examples:

Dr. Cohen’s Ph.D. certainly qualifies him to assess the quality of the architectural scope of work. [His Ph.D. is in biochemistry, not building design.]

The President’s endorsement is reason enough to vote for Bill HR2006. [The Bill may have the endorsement of only the members of one political party.]

The shoes have to be good—they’re made in Italy. [While Italian shoes have an excellent reputation, they may not all be necessarily good.]

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