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BA(H) PHILOSOPHY The appeal to force



The fallacy occurs when an argument threatens  his  opponent  with  unpleasant  consequences  if  his  viewpoint is not  accepted. 

The threat  of  punishment  or  some  sort of  force is  sometimes used for  presuading the  opponents  to accept certain views. The appeal to force does not necessarily have to  involve a physical  threat like, “if you do not act like  this  then i will hurt you”.  Sometimes there are “subtle” threats which force the other person to accept the particular view. Right from the domestic to international forum ,  subtle threats are used as a powerful instrument.

FOR EXAMPLE: The father tells his son,”sunny, next time before giving you pocket money,I will see your report card” . Many powerful nations are using armtwisting policies like reducing financial aid,cutting the technical assistances,etc. If the opponent countries do not sign a particular treaty.  The union workers threat the  establishment that if their demands are not met they will go on strike. In spite of the fact that the threats are used implicitly on a large scale by all sections of society,yet logically to accept a conclusion merely on the basis of threat is not sound.


1. If you don’t support my candidacy for party,then I will see to it that no  new  schools  and colleges are built in your area.

2. If you do not agree with my political opinion that mrs. Indira Gandhi was the greatest prime minister of free India,then you will receive F grade in this semester.

3. You will support me in this plan because if you don’t,I will  do everything in my power to see that you are fired.

4. Give me your bag or else look at gun in my hand.

the general form of an argument having this fallacy is

“if you don’t accept….. then you will face….. the consequences which are unpleasant”




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