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Red herring

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A red herring is a statement or question that distracts from the issue at hand by introducing irrelevant information.[1] The person introducing the red herring hopes to "win" by shifting the debate to more favorable ground.

As such, the red herring is a logical fallacy. It is not an argument, but is rather an attempt to avoid a position that is harder to defend. This fallacy is closely associated with the ignoratio elenchi informal fallacy.[1]

One should not permit the red herring to draw one off the subject. Instead one should point out the irrelevancy and get back to the question at issue.

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This argument represents a
Red herring.
Use the {{fallacy|Red herring}} template to insert the above warning on a page containing an example of the Red herring fallacy. The template links the warning label to this page.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hurley, Patrick J (2008). A Concise Introduction to Logic (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-495-50383-5.