Glossary

The following is a list of terms that are commonly used within this website. Note that a few of them differ from their actual meanings; this is done with certain concepts to make them clearly understandable to the average reader, without having to involve technical or broad definitions. Please ask on the forums for any questions you may have.

Terms

Belief: A view, opinion, or claim, with which people can agree or disagree. Even the firmest of truths are included in this definition.
Premise: One of a series of claims/steps in a logical argument.
Reason: An argument or piece of evidence which supports, or is widely thought to support, a particular view or position.
Discussion Page: Pages in which multiple points are presented and a discussion statement is shown at the top. Types:

  • Singleview: Discussion page in which the points presented are supportive of only one view, the view represented by the discussion statement.
  • Multiview: Discussion page in which the points presented are supportive of more than one view. These views are represented by multiple discussion statements or based upon agreeal/disagreeal on one alone.

Discussion Statement: The statement at the top of discussion pages from which the views involved can be clearly understood.

Types of Reasons

Arguments/Evidence: Reason which supports/opposes the discussion statement by its own validity. Types:

  • Empirical: Evidence on which third party analysis is (or would have been) possible. Example: The setting of the sun is empirical evidence that we're moving in relation to it.
  • Deductive: Argument in which the author's conclusion is the only conclusion possible, if each of the premises are true. Example: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
  • Inductive: Argument in which the author's conclusion is the most likely/rational/intuitive conclusion, if each of the premises are true. Example: All of the swans that all living beings have ever seen are white. Therefore, all swans are white.
  • Subjective: Evidence on which third party analysis isn't (nor would have been) possible. Example: Someone claiming that they felt a presence in the room is subjective evidence that someone had been there.

Implicators: Reason which supports/opposes the discussion statement by the validity/invalidity of another belief.

Types of Logical Fallacies

Ad Hominem: Attacks the character of the opponent rather than using valid logic or forming a sound argument.
Appeal to Emotion: Tries to manipulate the emotions of those listening rather than trying to make an argument using valid logic.
Association Fallacy: Asserts that the qualities of one thing are inherent qualities of another thing merely by an irrelevant association.
Argument from Ignorance: Asserts a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, or vice versa.
Argument from Incredulity: Relies on the lack of imagination or thought.
Argumentum ad Populum: Concludes that the proposition being made is true because most people believe it is true.
Cherry Picking: Points to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. This argument rejects, omits, or ignores evidence that supports an opposing argument.
Circular Reasoning: Attempts to prove a proposition that's assumed within the premises of the argument itself.
Equivocation: Uses a misleading term that has multiple meanings, and confuses the statements of the opponent.
Fallacy of Composition: Infers that something is true of the whole if it's true for one of its parts.
False Analogy: Involves noting the shared properties of two or more things, and from this basis inferring that they share some further property.
False Dilemma: Creates a false dilemma by considering only two options, when perhaps there are more.
Non Sequitur: Concludes something that does not follow from the premises.
Red Herring: Tries to take attention away from the central issue of significance by bringing up a new topic or argument.
Straw Man: Misrepresents the ideas, views, or statements of the opposition, making them easier to refute.
Special Pleading: Tries to exempt something from the given rule without justifying why it deserves to be exempt from the given rule.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License