FALLACIES

Two competing conceptions of fallacies are that they are false but popular beliefs and that they are deceptively bad arguments. These we may distinguish as the belief and argument conceptions of fallacies. Academic writers who have given the most attention to the subject of fallacies insist on, or at least prefer, the argument conception of fallacies, but the belief conception is prevalent in popular and non-scholarly discourse. As we shall see, there are yet other conceptions of what fallacies are, but the present inquiry focuses on the argument conception of fallacies.