, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 237–250 | Cite as

Which of the fallacies are fallacies of relevance?

  • Douglas N. Walton


This paper looks around among the major traditional fallacies — centering mainly around the so-called “gang of eighteen” — to discuss which of them should properly be classified as fallacies of relevance. The paper argues that four of these fallacies are fallacies primarily because they are failures of relevance in argumentation, while others are fallacies in a way that is more peripherally related to failures of relevance. Still others have an even more tangential relation to failures of relevance. This paper is part of a larger research project on dialecical relevance in argumentative discourse, currently underway in collaboration with Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst.

Key words

Ad baculum ad hominem ad misericordiam ad populum argumentation critical discussion emotions fallacies relevance threats 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas N. Walton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WinnipegManitobaCanada

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