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Appeal to tradition

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Title: Appeal to tradition  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Appeal to novelty, Tradition, Argumentum ad populum, Moralistic fallacy, Naturalistic fallacy
Collection: Conservatism, Genetic Fallacies, Tradition
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Appeal to tradition

Appeal to tradition (also known as argumentum ad antiquitatem,[1] appeal to antiquity, or appeal to common practice) is a common fallacy in which a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it is correlated with some past or present tradition. The appeal takes the form of "this is right because we've always done it this way."[2]

An appeal to tradition essentially makes two assumptions that are not necessarily true:

  • The old way of thinking was proven correct when introduced, i.e. since the old way of thinking was prevalent, it was necessarily correct.
    • In actuality this may be false—the tradition might be entirely based on incorrect grounds.
  • The past justifications for the tradition are still valid at present.
    • In actuality, the circumstances may have changed; this assumption may also therefore be untrue.

The opposite of an appeal to tradition is an appeal to novelty, claiming something is good because it is new.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate
  2. ^ Trufant 1917.

References

  • Trufant, William (1917). Argumentation and Debating. Houghton Mifflin company. Digitized May 9, 2007. 
  • "Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate". www.csun.edu. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
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