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|Look up auctoritas in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Fallacious examples of using the appeal include any appeal to authority used in the context of deductive reasoning, and appealing to the position of an authority or authorities to dismiss evidence.
The appeal to authority is a logical fallacy because authorities are not necessarily correct about judgments related to their field of expertise. Though reliable authorities are correct in judgments related to their area of expertise more often than laypersons, they can still come to the wrong judgments through error, bias, dishonesty, or falling prey to groupthink. Thus, the appeal to authority is not an argument for establishing facts.
|Look up ad verecundiam in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
The phrase argumentum ad verecundiam is sometimes used synonymously to mean 'argument from authority'. While it is linked, it does not have the same meaning. The Latin noun verecundia means "modesty" or "shame". Its link to arguments from authority is that they are used to make those who lack authority feel shame about discussing issues they lack credentials of expertise in, and modestly back out of an argument. The reason it is a fallacy is that the stature and accuracy of the person to whom the remark is directed is precisely the open question under debate.
The equally fallacious counter-argument from authority takes the form:
This form is fallacious as it does not actually refute the evidence given by B, merely notes that there is disagreement with it. This form is especially unsound when there is no indication that A is aware of the evidence given by B.
Fallacious arguments from authority often are the result of citing a non-authority as an authority. First, when the inference refers to an inexpert authority, it is an appeal to inappropriate authority, which occurs when an inference relies upon a person or a group without relevant expertise or knowledge of the subject matter under discussion.
Also, because the argument from authority is not a logical argument in that it does not argue something's negation or affirmation constitutes a contradiction, it is fallacious to assert that the conclusion must be true. Such a determinative assertion is a logical non sequitur as the conclusion does not follow unconditionally, in the sense of being logically necessary.