Appeal to emotion
Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient's emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument. The appeal to emotion fallacy uses emotions as the basis of an argument's position without factual evidence that logically supports the major ideas endorsed by the elicitor of the argument. Also, this kind of thinking may be evident in one who lets emotions and/or other subjective considerations influence one's reasoning process. This kind of appeal to emotion is a type of red herring and encompasses several logical fallacies, including:
- Appeal to consequences
- Appeal to fear
- Appeal to flattery
- Appeal to pity
- Appeal to ridicule
- Appeal to spite
- Wishful thinking
Instead of facts, persuasive language is used to develop the foundation of an appeal to emotion-based argument. Thus, the validity of the premises that establish such an argument does not prove to be verifiable.
Conclusively, the appeal to emotion fallacy presents a perspective intended to be superior to reason. Appeals to emotion are intended to draw visceral feelings from the acquirer of the information. And in turn, the acquirer of the information is intended to be convinced that the statements that were presented in the fallacious argument are true; solely on the basis that the statements may induce emotional stimulation such as fear, pity and joy. Though these emotions may be provoked by an appeal to emotion fallacy, substantial proof of the argument is not offered, and the argument's premises remain invalid.
Other types of fallacies may also overlap with or constitute an appeal to emotion, including:
- Ad hominem attacks
- Guilt by association
- Misleading vividness
- Slippery slope
- Two wrongs make a right (if arguing for revenge)
- Straw man
- Kimball, Robert H. “A Plea for Pity.” Philosophy and Rhetoric. Vol. 37, Issue 4. (2004): 301–316. Print.
- Wheater, Isabella “Philosophy.” Vol.79, Issue 308. (2004): 215–245. Print.
- Moore, Brooke N., and Kenneth Bruder. Philosophy: The Power of Ideas. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.