For example: If someone says some science is wrong because it's "pseudoscience" Or if someone says X doesn't exist because X is "magic," or uses any word that implies their conclusion?

So far I've thought of "begging the question" and "rhetorical tautology," and House in an episode of 'House' calls it a "faulty syllogism." Is there a concise fallacy to cite this specific kind of fallacious argument?

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  • See List of informal fallacies for some useful examples. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Apr 25 '17 at 15:31
  • That list does not have the fallacy. – Hircarra Apr 25 '17 at 15:32
  • Maybe Argumentum ad lapidem. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Apr 25 '17 at 15:35
  • Appeal to the stone is to dismiss an argument out of hand because its conclusion is "absurd" or "ridiculous." It has nothing to do with calling an argument wrong because it is some word defined as wrong. – Hircarra Apr 25 '17 at 15:45
  • 1
    Petitio principii (begging the question) is supposed to be implicit:"This is an informal fallacy, in which an arguer includes the conclusion to be proven within a premise of the argument, often in an indirect way such that its presence within the premise is hidden or at least not easily apparent." There wouldn't be a name for doing it explicitly since almost nobody does it so. – Conifold Apr 26 '17 at 1:33

sounds like begging the question to me. "X is wrong because 'X is Y'", where Y is wrong by definition, is just another way of saying 'X is wrong because X is wrong."


To give these various labels as a refutation is to suppose that just the opposite is being claimed. For instance, if I refute a claim or proposition or something by calling it "pseudoscience", this presupposes that it has claims to being a science. If this is the case then the rationale is contained in the definition of pseudoscience, and the only requirement for validity is that the word fit the circumstance, e.g. astrology is a pseudoscience; whereas quantum mechanics is not pseudoscience. Therefore, if there is any fallacy it will depend on the proposition that is being addressed which will determine if the word or label is fitting or not.

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