Fallacy: Appeal to Popularity

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When we appeal to popularity, we are suggesting that just because many people believe something, it is true.


Example of appeal to popularity

You’re obviously mistaken about this whole, ‘the Earth is round’ thing. If you look at any poll, you’ll see that the majority of people believe the Earth is flat.

Premise: Most people believe the Earth is flat.
Conclusion: The Earth is flat.


Why it’s illogical

Much like with the ad hominem fallacy, people believing in a thing doesn’t change its truth.

Oddly, people also like to use the opposite type of reasoning for some arguments – which I like to call the appeal to sheeple, or appeal to free thinking.

In this case, someone will argue that you should believe something because it’s the opposite of what everyone else believes. For instance:

Of course you’re going to believe that the Earth is round. That’s what society wants you to think.

Which can be written as:
Premise: Society wants you to think the Earth is round.
Conclusion: The Earth is not round.

Image source.

Author: A. Primate

Mammal. Organizes itself into complex social hierarchies. Very particular about objects - even those that can't be eaten or used for shelter. Seemingly aware of itself as separate from the environment.

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