(also known as: appeal to the gut)
Description: Evaluating an argument based on "intuition" or "gut feeling" that is unable to be articulated, rather than evaluating the argument using reason.
Evidence is given for argument X.
X doesn't match person 1's intuition or gut feeling.
Therefore, argument X is rejected.
Person 1 has a gut feeling about claim X.
Therefore, claim X is true.
Nick: Did you know that if the sun were just a few miles closer to Earth, we would burn up, or if it were just a few miles further away we would all freeze? It is like someone put the sun there just for us!
Suzy: Actually, the distance of the sun from Earth varies from about 91 million miles to 94.5 million miles, depending on the time of year.
Nick: That can't be right. The sun never appears a few million miles further away!
Explanation: Besides Nick's flat out rejection of a fact, Nick is evaluating Suzy's refutation based on what feels wrong to him. Nick is abandoning the reasoning process.
Maura: Stop wasting your money on those scratch-off lottery tickets. You know the odds are seriously stacked against you, don't you?
Philip: I do, but I have a really good feeling about this next batch!
Explanation: Maura makes a good argument as to why Phillip should not buy any more tickets, but Philip abandons the reasoning process and makes an appeal to his intuition.
Exception: This doesn't include arguments where subjective feeling plays a significant role.
Maureen: So who are you going to marry?
Joanne: Martin. I have a much better feeling about my future with him than with Tony.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:
Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!
Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.