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A fallacy is a significantly or seriously defective argument, judged in terms of either the content (reasoning) of the argument or the approach and personal conduct of the arguer. Since Aristotle (1984; 1991), scholars of argumentation have attempted to compile lists of the ways in which an argument may be viewed as inherently flawed and as such fallacial–Aristotle originally suggested there were 13 such fallacies; more recent attempts put the number at 20 (Hansen and Pinto, 1995). Broadly speaking, however, Whately's (1848) distinction between formal and informal fallacies is now largely accepted. The formal fallacies are errors in the argumentative reasoning, in which an inadequate proof is intentionally or accidentally presented or disguised as an adequate proof. Informal fallacies are errors of argumentative strategy and ...

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