Testimonial Fallacy

Testimonial Fallacy 

Definition: False Authorities incorrectly invoke the backing of well-known public figures to support a conclusion. (Yes, it is of course valid to enlist/invoke/ cite a Genuine Authority (click); however, it is fallacious to do so under the following three conditions: (1) When there is wide disagreement among experts in the field. (2) When the Authority is a False Authority; that is, is not qualified or recognized as an expert in the field at issue. (3) When the Genuine Authority was not being serious.)

Examples: “Doug Biklen believes in facilitated communication; you should therefore use it with your students.” (There is wide disagreement, however; and he is in a fast shrinking and thankfully barely perceptible minority of fantasy-huggers who do still “believe”.)

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