False Authority Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
False Authority Fallacy
What Is False Authority Fallacy?
The false authority fallacy is a logical fallacy in which an argument is made on the basis of someone’s supposed authority, expertise, or position without any evidence to support it.
It is a type of argument that is based on the false assumption that someone or something has more credibility because they are an expert in their field, have credentials, or come from a prestigious institution.
How to recognize false authority
In order to recognize false authority, you need to understand what true authority is. True authority or “earned” authority is the result of knowledge, experience, and expertise.
Secondhand or unearned authority is a status that is given to a person who has not earned it themselves by merit. This is a dangerous type of authority because people are often completely ignorant of the true and false authorities. This is misleading.
False Authority Fallacy Examples
The false authority fallacy is an argumentative technique in which the speaker uses a person’s position of power or prestige to bolster their own point.
It is a type of informal logical fallacy in which an argument’s premises are taken to be true because the person who made them is seen as an authority, but this does not mean that they actually are.
False Authority Fallacy Examples in Philosophy
Examples of False Authority Fallacy in Philosophy:
Another example of the false authority fallacy can be found in “The Republic” when Socrates tells Glaucon that people should obey their rulers even if those rulers tell them to do something wrong.
False Authority Fallacy Real-Life Examples
False Authority Fallacy in Real Life:
The false authority fallacy is often seen in the form of a celebrity appeal. This can be seen when a politician or public figure with no expertise on a given topic speaks as if they are an expert.
For example, in his speech at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump said, “I alone can fix it,” while discussing immigration reform and crime rates.
False Authority Fallacy Examples in Media
Examples of False Authority Fallacy in Media:
This can be seen in media when a person appears to have credibility because they are famous or well-known, but their statements lack supporting evidence and so cannot be trusted.
An example would be when people believe that celebrities endorse products because they are famous rather than looking at what the celebrity actually says about the product.
Related: False Analogy Fallacy Examples
False Authority Fallacy Examples in Advertising
False Authority Fallacy in Advertising:
This fallacy can be found in advertising when people use phrases like “as seen on TV” to imply that the product being advertised is superior to others.
The problem with this argumentative technique is that it does not provide any evidence for its claims and relies solely on the audience’s trust in what they see as authoritative sources.
Another example of the fallacy in advertising:
This fallacy can be seen in advertising when companies use celebrities to endorse their products.
For example, PepsiCo’s “Live for Now” campaign featured people such as Madonna and Justin Bieber endorsing Pepsi.
While these individuals may have been popular at one time, they are not necessarily experts on what constitutes healthy food choices.
False Authority Fallacy in Politics
Examples of False Authority Fallacy in Politics:
A false authority fallacy is when a person uses their position of power to make an argument, but they are not qualified enough to do so.
For example, in politics, the president might be able to use their influence as the country’s leader and say that America needs stricter gun laws without being qualified on what type of law would be best for this situation.
This is because people will follow whatever he says. After all, he has more power than them.
False Authority Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of False Authority a Fallacy in Movies:
The movie “The Da Vinci Code” is a great example of false authority because it shows the protagonist, Robert Langdon, as an expert in symbology and religious iconography.
In reality, he’s just a professor at Harvard University who specializes in Renaissance art.
False Authority Fallacy Examples in Literature
Examples of False Authority Fallacy in Literature:
The false authority fallacy is a logical fallacy where an argument is made based on the claim that someone with credentials or expertise in a field has said something when they have not.
This can be seen in literature through the use of characters who are experts in their fields but don’t actually say anything about the topic at hand.
For example, if you were to write a novel about how to build a house and your protagonist was an architect, it would be fallacious for them to make arguments about architecture because they’re not qualified to do so without having any knowledge of building houses themselves.
False Authority Fallacy Examples in News
Examples of False Authority Fallacy in News:
The media often reports on experts’ opinions without giving any indication that they may not be qualified to speak about the topic.
For example, a reporter might interview an expert in economics and then use their opinion as fact when reporting on a story related to politics.
This is an example of false authority because it does not clarify that these are just one person’s thoughts.