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Argumentum Ad Populum Definition

Argumentum ad populum is a kind of informal error[1], especially a relevance error[14],[15] and resembles an argument of authority (argumentum ad verecundiam). [13] [3] [8] It uses an appeal to the beliefs, tastes or values of a group of people,[11] and asserts that it is therefore right because a certain opinion or attitude is held by a majority. [11] [16] In argument theory, an argumentum ad populum is a misleading argument that concludes that a statement is true because many or most people believe it. In other words, the basic idea of the argument is: “If many believe it, so be it. This type of argument is known by several names, including appeal to the masses, call to faith, appeal to the majority, call to democracy, call to popularity, argument by consensus, error of consensus, authority of the greatest number and error of the moving train, and in Latin as argumentum ad numerum and consensus gentium. It is also the basis for a number of social phenomena, including community empowerment and the bandwagon effect. The Chinese proverb “Three men make a tiger” applies to the same idea. Etymology: argumentum + ad + populum (singular accusative of populus, “people”, “nation”) ≈ “appeal to the people” In certain circumstances, a person may argue that the fact that Y believes that X is true implies that X is false. This line of thinking is closely related to the call for error, as it evokes a person`s contempt for the general population or something about the general population to convince them that most are wrong with X. This inversion ad populum makes the same logical mistake as the original error, since the idea of “X is true” is inherently distinct from the idea that “Y people believe X”: “Y people believe in X as true just because Y people believe in it, not because of further consideration. That`s why X must be wrong. While people Y may believe that X is true for deceptive reasons, X could still be true. Your motivation to believe X does not affect whether X is true or false.

In argument theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”[1]) is a misleading argument that concludes that a statement must be true because many or most people believe it, often summarized succinctly as follows: “If many believe it, it is so.” [Citation needed] The argumentum ad populum can be a conclusive (strong) argument in inductive logic. For example, a survey of a large population may reveal that 100% prefer one particular product brand to another. A conclusive argument can then be made that the next person considered is also very likely to prefer this brand (but not always 100% as there could be exceptions), and the investigation is solid evidence of this claim. However, an example of a weak inductive argument would be to say, “Support the brand of the product. People need a practical product to ensure the fulfillment of their consumers, because they say that such a product of a certain brand is required according to surveys. People have suffered for too long because they have not gotten the product from this brand. The problem stems from the conclusion, which probably does not stem from the premises. What is special about this product? How is it safe if a product is not used by the majority, is responsible for their suffering? How will this product lead to a better quality of life? Why is this product made? How can it be inferred that the surveys do not come from a biased sample? These are some of the issues that affect the overall strength of the argument inductively. In general, inversion usually works: most people believe that A and B are both true. B is wrong. Thus, A is wrong.

The similar error of chronological snobbery should not be confused with inversion ad populum. Chronological snobbery is the claim that if belief in X and Y has been popular in the past, and if Y has recently been proven false, X must also be false. This reasoning is based on belief in historical progress and not – like inversion ad populum – on whether X and/or Y are currently popular or not. The philosopher Irving Copi defined argumentum ad populum (“appeal to the people”) as an appeal to popular opinion itself,[18] as an attempt to arouse “the emotions and enthusiasms of the crowd.” [18] [19] For deductive reasoning as evidence, for example, to say that the investigation proves that the preferred brand is superior to the competition in its composition or that everyone prefers that brand to the other. [Citation needed] Again, we find the argument that the number of people who accept a claim is a good basis for believing that claim. But we now know that such a call is misleading, hundreds of millions of people can be wrong. Even a Christian who makes the above argument must acknowledge this because at least so many people have followed other pious religions. .

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