by Tim Harding
The informal fallacy known as argumentumad populum means ’argument from popularity’ or ‘appeal to the people’. This fallacy is essentially the same as ad numerum, appeal to the gallery, appeal to the masses, common practice, past practice, traditional knowledge, peer pressure, conventional wisdom, the bandwagon fallacy; and lastly truth by consensus, of which I shall say more later.
The Argument from Popularity fallacy may be defined as when an advocate asserts that because the great majority of people in general agree with his or her position on an issue, he or she must be right. In other words, if you suggest too strongly that someone’s claim or argument is correct simply because it’s what most people believe, then you’ve committed the fallacy of appeal to the people. Similarly, if you suggest too strongly that someone’s claim or argument is mistaken…
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