Logical Fallacy


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    This is a place to discuss logical fallacy. It was inspired by the Appeal to Authority debate over on the Skeptical Science thread.

    Re: Appeal to Authority Debate

    Ash claimed that appealing to a legitimate authority is not a logical fallacy. Technically, this is true, but practically it of zero impact.

    The reason is simple – how do you know someone is a legitimate authority you can trust? How do you know that a legitimate authority isn’t deceiving you on purpose? If you just blindly accept the authority’s word, then you are WIDE OPEN to be deceived. Sometimes this is on purpose, sometimes it is just people being lazy or due to a conflict of interest.

    Let me give an example of an argument that I believe is a logical fallacy.

    “Paul Krugman’s answers to the financial crisis are to be believed while Nicole Foss’ view of the situation are not to be trusted. Paul Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences – he’s a trained authority so he can be taken at his word.”

    In fact, I seem to recall Nicole reporting that her views were dismissed because she wasn’t a trained “authority” in Economics so her analysis couldn’t be trusted.

    Is that argument a fallacy?

    Is Krugman a respected authority in Economics?

    If it is a fallacy, what is the name of the fallacy?

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