FALLACY PAGE

— Straw man fallacy —

Fallacy definition (short name: straw_man)

Definition

From Wikipedia1:

A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

Canonical example

From Purdue2:

People who don’t support the proposed state minimum wage increase hate the poor.

In this example the author attributes the worst possible motive to an opponent’s position. In reality, however, the opposition probably has more complex and sympathetic arguments to support their point. By not addressing those arguments, the author is not treating the opposition with respect or refuting their position.

Notes

1 Straw Man on Wikipedia

2 Purdue OWL