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I am not sure if this is the best place for this question.

Many times people in marketing or good at promoting things (and themselves) use sometimes a subset of similarities between 2 things to make them interchangeable.

Some silly example: Let's say someone advertises a very cheap car that helps people move but it is nothing but a board on top of 4 wheels and has pedals to move around, or that someone sells a horse but in reality it is a miniature.

I think these are based on some logical fallacy so I am looking for the formal name of this kind of logical "lying".

Can anyone help?

  • False analogy? But generally speaking, deception, including false advertising, is not a logical fallacy. – Conifold Aug 12 '18 at 19:33
  • I don't think your example is related to logic. Logical fallacies aren't a special use of logic but a use of arguments which are logically wrong but still sounds coherent (for the human mind at least). "Lying" is an informal concept not related to how logic works. – Boris E. Aug 12 '18 at 19:34
  • @Boris: I had in mind logical fallacy because e.g. if someone takes them to court they technically would not have lied. Hence I was thinking it is a faulty form of reasoning that could have a formal definition – Jim Aug 12 '18 at 19:48
  • @Conifold: Please also see comment I wrote above – Jim Aug 12 '18 at 19:48
  • I made an edit which I assume you know you can roll back or continue editing. I also tagged this with fallacies. – Frank Hubeny Aug 12 '18 at 20:47
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A factual error - here a misdescription - is not a logical mistake, an error in reasoning, an instance of invalid argumentation. It is still only a factual error if there is an intention to deceive.

On this site you will find 'fallacy' confined to logical mistake. There is a different, more popular sense in which a 'fallacy' refers to 'Deception, guile, trickery; a deception; a lie' (Oxford English Dictionary). This is perfectly sound usage and it appears to be the one you need, but (sorry) it isn't the specific usage to which we confine ourselves here.


NOTE

The following interesting comment has been made :

May be the premise that is presented is not a logical fallacy to the strict usage of the term in terms of logical reasoning. But if one needs to attack the premise, won't the person use some logical method? Would that be formalized in the terms you use here?

Just a minor point : it's the argument that's fallacious rather than any particular premise that occurs in it.

But of course, you are right. The misdesription would usually, and always could, be attacked by means of argument. Here's an example :

1 You advertised X as a cheap car.

2 X is cheap but it does not have the functionality expected of a car under the usual understanding and trade description of what a car is.

3 Therefore you have given a false description, relative to the usual understanding and trade description of a 'car', in calling X a car.

4 Therefore you have given a false description of X.

5 Since fair trading requires accurate, not false, descriptions, and your description of X is false, you have traded unfairly.

This argument could be tightened up but I think it indicates the line of attack you have in mind. Hope this helps.

  • May be the premise that is presented is not a logical fallacy to the strict usage of the term in terms of logical reasoning. But if one needs to attack the premise, won't the person use some logical method? Would that be formalized in the terms you use here? – Jim Aug 12 '18 at 20:36
  • The whole counter attack is based on point (2) which is related to how we define something. Taking into account that for the majority of cases how we define something is not globally accepted unless it is explicitly described in a formal law or contract (and even then there can be ambiguities), is there a formal process that shows if something has or has not been defined correctly? E.g. in your example one could state that there is nothing in the definition of a car that indicates that it should drive reverse, or it should stop within X secs after hitting the break etc – Jim Aug 12 '18 at 21:47
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Some silly example: Let's say someone advertises a very cheap car that helps people move but it is nothing but a board on top of 4 wheels and has pedals to move around, or that someone sells a horse but in reality it is a miniature.

I think these are based on some logical fallacy so I am looking for the formal name of this kind of logical "lying".

I conjecture that the word you're looking for is "sophistry".

  • From the link you provided sophistry is: An argument that seems plausible, but is fallacious or misleading, especially one devised deliberately to be so.. It seems to me that the only way to attack such an argument is on the grounds of how logically sound it is, hence my question – Jim Aug 14 '18 at 17:47

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