Saturday, November 18, 2006

Logical Fallacies, Part 20: Poisoning the Well

I conclude this series on logical fallacies with poisoning the well, a logical fallacy akin to the ad hominem argument (see July 15 posting). At the risk of appearing redundant, I’ve included it because the term frequently appears in writing. One “poisons the well” when discrediting the source of a claim with the intention of refuting the claim itself. Example:

How can we allow allow a man of another faith to speak to our congregation on family values?

If you’ve found these last 20 postings useful, you might want to read Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J. Gula.

To purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by Philip Vassallo, click here: