Lesson 2.9

Preventing Logical Fallacies

Dive into this topic by watching the video, followed by key concepts and exercise:


Key Concepts:


Fallacies are when you say something that doesn’t make sense, as if it makes sense.

  • It’s easy to do this accidentally, which is why it’s good to learn about the different kinds of logical fallacies.

  • A good rundown of basic fallacies can be found here, and a primer on fallacies in debate is this section of this big article on Intellectual Dishonesty: https://www.shanesnow.com/articles/fallacies

  • We won’t focus on the specific types of fallacies in this course (and also because those links above have solid explanations of them already).

  • What we’re going to focus on is what to do when someone uses a fallacy when you’re trying to make progress in a discussion.


It can be pretty easy to come off as obnoxious when you do this, so the key is to genuinely seek to understand, and to use questions as much as you can to get the person to arrive at logic that make sense.

Sometimes this simply won’t work, because it takes the other person to be willing to have a conversation in the spirit of inquiry.

In cases where someone simply can’t or won’t do this, sometimes you may just have to investigate the real logic of the topic with other people.