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Red herring (fallacy)
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Red herring (fallacy)

A red herring, also known as ignoratio elenchi (Latin: ignorance of refutation) or irrelevant thesis, is a logical fallacy where an irrelevant topic is introduced to divert the attention away from the topic that's being discussed, or an argument where the premises are not logically connected to the conclusion.

Table of contents
1 Examples
2 Subfallacies
3 Origin
4 External Links

Examples

  1. "The premier's tax policies may be popular, but I suspect he had an affair and is paying the woman to keep quiet. The media should investigate that!"

Subfallacies

Subtypes of the red herring include:

A satirical type of red herring is the "Chewbacca Defense". This term is sometimes used in Internet discussion forums.

Origin

The phrase red herring is thought to have originated from the use of smoked herring fish to distract dogs following a scent trail. The herring's strong smell could obscure the real trail and lay a false one.

External Links