Appeal To Authority – Reduxed

We know appeal to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam) is a logical fallacy.

Just because x is an authority on a topic, don’t automatically take what they say about it as correct. Never submit your own understanding to someone else’s just because they’re an expert.

Logical fallacies are usually framed as things you need to defend against. Be aware of them. Don’t get caught by them.

It was interesting to see appeal to authority framed the opposite way in a recent post on Farnam St, Ten Commandments For Living From Philosopher Bertrand Russell. Betrand cautions not using them as an offensive weapon either.

“When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory”

A hollow victory is no victory at all. Logical fallacies – don’t get caught by them, yet don’t use them either.