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Appeal to Authority To appeal to authority is to cite an expert’s opinion as support for one’s own opinion. This method of thought is not necessarily fallacious. Clearly, the reasonableness of the argument depends on the “expertise” of the person being cited and whether he or she is an expert in a field relevant to the argument. Appealing to a doctor’s authority on a medical issue, for example, would be reasonable; but if the issue is about dermatology and the doctor is an orthopedist, then the argument would be questionable. Example: The legalization of drugs is advocated by no less respectable people than William F. Buckley and federal judge Edmund J. Reinholt. These people would not propose a social policy that is likely to be harmful. So there is little risk in experimenting with a one–year legalization of drugs.
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