What is the Strawman Fallacy?

Learn about the Strawman Fallacy, where criticizing a misrepresented argument instead of the actual one takes place.

What is the Strawman Fallacy?
Photo by Galina Kondratenko / Unsplash

Imagine expressing concern about the health risks of consuming too much sugar, only to have someone misrepresent your argument and claim that eating a single candy bar could be fatal. This distortion has a name: the strawman fallacy.

Understanding the Strawman Fallacy

The strawman fallacy is a deceptive tactic that involves misrepresenting an opponent’s argument to make it easier to attack, creating an illusion of refuting the original argument.

Instead of engaging with the actual argument, the respondent fabricates a simplified, exaggerated, or misrepresented version with extreme elements and confronts that instead.

Origins of the Term

The term