Argumentation 29 (4):457-474 (2015)

Carolyn Cusick
California State University, Fresno
Mark Peter
Vanderbilt University
We have noticed a pattern of arguments that exhibit a type of irrationality or a particular informal logical fallacy that is not fully captured by any existing fallacy. This fallacy can be explored through three examples where one misattributes a cause by focusing on a smaller portion of a larger set—specifically, the last or least known—and claiming that that cause holds a unique priority over other contributing factors for the occurrence of an event. We propose to call this fallacy the “last straw fallacy” and will argue why these examples actually warrant a new logical name. Finally, we will show how these cases point to a deeper insight about the contexts in which we typically invoke this type of reasoning and some significant harmful consequences of doing so
Keywords Informal fallacy  Strategic reasoning  Tactical reasoning  Causal fallacy  Intentional foul  Last straw
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10503-014-9339-x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,319
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Fallacies.C. L. Hamblin - 1970 - Vale Press.
A Pragmatic Theory of Fallacy.Douglas Walton - 2003 - University Alabama Press.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
50 ( #213,077 of 2,448,682 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #302,300 of 2,448,682 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes