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Appeal to Emotion

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Appeal to Emotion

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

X makes me feel good. Therefore X is true.

When something is associated with good feelings, then it is desirable and must be true. The converse is also true: when something is associated with negative feelings, then it must be wrong and bad.

Example

Our new cutlery set will make you feel so good when you see it laid out on your dining table. 'Style and Grace' is the right thing for you.

The Maki people of the South are known to be invading our towns! They are corrupting our children and taking our jobs!! Vote for me and I will eradicate this menace!

Discussion

The arousal of emotion is known to smother rationality, hence if it is introduced into an argument, then it is more likely that logical reasoning will be ignored. Many arguments thus deliberately seek to evoke emotions of the listeners.

The word 'good' is built into the language to support this. We talk about 'good feelings' and 'bad feelings' when good and bad are really about values. This association makes it easier still to bring emotion and value-based decisions together.

Classification

Appeal, Distraction, Relevance

See also

Emotions

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