The Ad Verecundiam Family - Personal

Ad Verecundiam is a Latin phrase that actually means "(appeal) to modesty." However, it is generally referred to as "Appeal to Authority." The arguments in this family appeal to the modesty, i.e. the lack of knowledge or expertise of the speaker, and also by implication the listener. Since the speaker is too modest to claim to be an expert in the subject under discussion, he attempts to settle the question by citing the authority of someone who is (presumably) an expert.

The fallacies in this family share the characteristic that they try to support a position by appealing to the mere opinion (rather than the considered arguments) of presumed experts who hold the position. The ad verecundiam fallacies can be distinguished from each other by considering who is appealed to as an expert. In the "personal" group, this is actually a person, i.e. someone to whom actual opinions and expertise might actually be attributed.

The fallacies in the personal Ad Verecundiam family are...

Invincible Authority

Unidentified Experts

Celebrity Endorsement

Appeal to Confidence


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