Is the following an instance of the epistemic fallacy (Wikipedia also calls this the "masked-man fallacy" or the "intensional fallacy"):

  • Premise 1: Bob supports Policy A
  • Premise 2: Bob does not care about Outcome B
  • Conclusion: Therefore, Policy A will not result in Outcome B

I'm unsure because this doesn't actually conflate knowledge of two objects, and it seems like an ad hominem or association fallacy.

Alternatively, is this an example of some other named fallacy?


1 Answer 1


The epistemic fallacy has to be about identity, not consequences. So, no, this superficially lacks the form necessary for the fallacy, unless you can tease out what you think is going on deeper down, this does not seem to be an instance of that particular fallacy.

Without more detail, the non-sequitur here does not seem to have enough structure to be subjectively convincing enough to constitute a fallacy. It is just a non-sequitur.

Is the hidden argument that

  1. If Policy A had Outcome B, then Bob would know that because of his investment in Policy A.

  2. If Bob knew his choices would make Outcome B likely, he would necessarily care?

If so, we can say something useful. But you can never be sure

  1. Is a fallacy of division. I know X, Y is an aspect of X, so surely I know Y. Well, no. Topics have structure, and nobody knows all aspects of a topic.

  2. Is just psychological projection. Nobody has to care about anything, just because you do.

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