Appeal to pity

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(Redirected from Argument ad misericordiam)

An appeal to pity (also called argumentum ad misericordiam, the sob story, or the Galileo argument)[1][2] is a fallacy in which someone tries to win support for an argument or idea by exploiting one's opponent's feelings of pity or guilt. It is a specific kind of appeal to emotion. The name "Galileo argument" refers to the scientist's suffering as a result of his house arrest by the Inquisition.


  • "You must have graded my exam incorrectly. I studied very hard for weeks specifically because I knew my career depended on getting a good grade. If you give me a failing grade I'm ruined!"
  • "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, look at this miserable man, in a wheelchair, unable to use his legs. Could such a man really be guilty of embezzlement?"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Appeal to Pity".
  2. ^ "Appeal to Pity (the Galileo Argument)". Archived from the original on 29 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2012.