In Deduction, the major premiss is a rule which asserts that there is a relationship between one class of objects and another. If the rule is false, then there is no such relationship, i.e. the two classes are irrelevant to each other. Hence, if the major premiss is false, the minor premiss is irrelevant to the conclusion.

The fallacies in this group share the characteristic that they distract attention away from the issue that is genuinely under discussion. In Latin these fallacies are sometime called Non Sequitur or Ignoratio Elenchi fallacies. The name "ignoratio elenchi," which means "ignorance of the issue" seems especially appropriate for the fallacies in this group.

There are so many irrelevancies that it is convenient to sub-divide them. I offer the following groups:

1. The Ad Hominem family

2. The Emotional Appeals family

3. The Ad Verecundiam family - personal

4. The Ad Veredundiam family - impersonal

5. The Personal Appeals family

6. The Middle Ground Fallacies

There is no particular theoretical reason for recognizing these groups, but the fallacies in each group do seem to have "family resemblances," so I refer to these grouping as "families."


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