* How is this a misrepresentation? Did they leave out relevant data?
* How is it an appeal to popularity? They aren't saying 90% (or some high number) of people agree.
* I can see how this is an appeal to authority. However, on page 6 of the linked
book, he talks about appeal to authority -- and from what I see there, this may not
be a fallacious appeal to authority.
** First, I acknowledge this book may be wrong. But lets just say for now that this book / author is correct.
** He states (on page 10 of the linked PDF)
As suggested above, not all Appeals to Authority are fallacious. This is fortunate since
people have to rely on experts. This is because no one person can be an expert on
everything and people do not have the time or ability to investigate every single claim
[cut some text out]
What distinguishes a fallacious Appeal to Authority from a good Appeal to Authority is
that the argument meets the six conditions discussed above. [see the PDF for the conditions]
I'm still not convinced this is a fallacious argument. From what I can see it's an inductive argument that is not fallacious.
And what are those criteria? (we'll only focus here on the relevant one)
3. There is an adequate degree of agreement among the other experts in the subject in
If there is a significant amount of legitimate dispute among the experts within a
subject, then it will fallacious to make an Appeal to Authority using the disputing
experts. This is because for almost any claim being made and “supported” by one expert
there will be a counterclaim that is made and “supported” by another expert. In such
cases an Appeal to Authority would tend to be futile. In such cases, the dispute has to be
settled by consideration of the actual issues under dispute. Since either side in such a
dispute can invoke experts, the dispute cannot be rationally settled by Appeals to
There are many fields in which there is a significant amount of legitimate dispute.
Economics is a good example of such a disputed field. Anyone who is familiar with
economics knows that there are many plausible theories that are incompatible with one
another. Because of this, one expert economist could sincerely claim that the deficit is
the key factor while another equally qualified individual could assert the exact opposite.
Another area where dispute is very common (and well known) is in the area of
psychology and psychiatry. As has been demonstrated in various trials, it is possible to
find one expert that will assert that an individual is insane and not competent to stand
trial and to find another equally qualified expert who will testify, under oath, that the
same individual is both sane and competent to stand trial. Obviously, one cannot rely on
an Appeal to Authority in such a situation without making a fallacious argument. Such
an argument would be fallacious since the evidence would not warrant accepting the
And that's why it fails as even a inductive argument when debating the evidence of AGW, or "climate change".
This field is not, counter to common belief, a "settled science". In most science this is the case, and therefore appeal to authority in such instances, as indicated, doesn't relay debate on any specification withint he field. it's a brush stroke and one used to stifle debate instead of enhance it.
A similar example is when people cite Paul Krugman on economic matters simpy because he holds a nobel (for trade theory) in economics, rather than the merits of his assertions based on evidence and understanding.