Daily Archives: August 13, 2015

Ad Populum Mitosis?

While studying informal fallacies to prepare the next lesson in my upcoming rhetoric text Fitting Words, I observed something surprising about the ad populum fallacy. I have generally understood this fallacy to be simply an appeal to the masses, indeed to the mere mass of the masses” (Introductory Logic, Nance and Wilson) as in “Mom, all my friends are doing it!” (for which all mothers have learned the counterexample “If all your friends were jumping off of a cliff, should you?”)

But in all the standard college logic texts that I own (not a small sample), argumentum ad populum is taken to mean, quite broadly, an improper appeal to emotion. As a sample: Continue reading Ad Populum Mitosis?