An argument consists of premises and a conclusion. Argumentation can consist of chained, supportive arguments. Argumentation contains three places wherein mistakes, tricks or fallacies live. The diagram to the right show the first two:
- Within a premises: these are called “informal fallacies”
- In the logic which connects the premises to the conclusion: these are called “formal fallacies”.
For a fantastic hyperlinked diagram of formal and informal fallacies, see “The Fallacy Files“.
Even if an argument does not have any informal or formal fallacies, a listener could rightfully demand “proof” (or an argument) for any of the premises which they feel is unsupported. This is fine and good, but unless eventually the arguer and the listener come to some agreed premises, the argument chain could go on forever. This dilemma is called “The Skeptical Regress”. See the diagram below.
Like formal and informal fallacies, the Skeptical Regress and it’s fallacies have been known from antiquity. The first false solution to the dilemma (a fallacy) is to just accept the infinite regress. The second Regress Fallacy is called a circular argument. See below:
The circular argument turns the infinite chain upon itself — like an Ourobus. This method brings back premises to be wrongly dependent upon the original argument’s conclusion.
- Informal Fallacies
- Formal Fallacies
- Regress Fallacies
- Infinite Regress
- Circular Argument
Question to Readers: Any corrections or suggestions?