I just read an article by Maarten Boudry, where he argues that the practice of spotting and pointing out fallacies is over-used in the skeptical community.
Spotting fallacies has long been popular in skeptical movements, but personally I've never had much time for them. There's so many fallacies, often with non-descriptive names and unclear descriptions, and it seems more like a game of "fit the fallacy to the argument" than actual productive critical thinking.
There's really only one fallacy worth remembering - the one that encompasses all the others. The non sequitur.
Non sequitur is latin (for "it does not follow"), but it's now english, commonly understood to mean a statement that does not follow from what came before - often just an odd utterance by the socially inept. In logic and philosophy it more formally means a conclusion or belief that is not justified by (or does not follow) the premises.
Take the famous ad hominem fallacy. Attacking the person instead of the argument. A plain reading of this would tell us that we must judge arguments on their own merits, not on the character, status, or history of the person giving the argument. Yet in the real world if we are to pit arguments of a chronic liar who has tried to hurt us, against a wise and reliable friend, then we pick the latter with great justification. It does not follow that any two arguments are equally worthy of consideration.
Like most people, I strive to reach correct conclusions. I know that examples of these fallacies are real, but I don't use the classification of arguments according to fallacies as a tool. I simply ask "does it follow?". The answer is often complicated and messy to resolve, but I never felt I was missing anything by failing to check the hundreds of possible fallacies in the list.
So Maarten Boudry's article rang a bell for me. While it might not be time to "get rid of fallacy theory" in its entirety, it may well be time to rein it in and acknowledge that it's more of an interesting classification scheme for non sequiturs than an actual aid to critical thinking.