Argumentum ad populum or consensus gentium is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it (Wikipedia has more details). It alleges to: if many believe so, it is so. So this is kind of implicit decision making or leadership, isn’t it? If someone can come up with a “convincing” argument and many believe he or she is right, then you can say to have an argumentum ad populum case. But what’s missing here in the equation is the hierarchy. There seems to be no hierarchy necessary if a leader can come up with convincing arguments. But isn’t leadership in itself some form of hierarchy? You could think of it as a hierarchy in terms of influence. True leaders therefore don’t need hierarchies, they lead by example. Did you know by the way that scientific research has shown that the opinion of a well informed group has a higher chance to represent the truth than the opinion of a smaller group? This implies, sharing knowledge must lead to better informed decisions. And sharing knowledge that is inspired by arguments from true leaders must lead to even better decisions.  Btw, these are just some thoughts of me, not validated any further, I leave that up to others…

Comments on: "Argumentum ad Populum, The Power of Social Media and What You Can Do About It" (1)

  1. […] before. If there is one thing that needs to be underscored in the sciences and social sciences, it is that what people believe in, even if it is an overwhelming majority of the people who believe …: remember the earth was flat for many a millennia, and let’s not even get into the received […]

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