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Best way I can describe it is a person using their own personal sentiment/disposition towards a subject in their initial argument, but generalizes said disposition as a ground for succeeding arguments.

Ex:

  • "The idea of being attracted towards intelligence is a very shallow perception. When people talk about ideas I am not familiar with, such as ancient philosophers or quantum theories, I feel so belittled and left out. The fact that this notion is very popular amongst this generation really shows how little people value themselves as they are willing to be underestimated by their partner or ideal one."

While the person's sentiment towards the matter is valid, generalizing it and treating it as universal instead of personal is fallacious, no? However, I am unable to research more about this hole as I do not know what is it's name.

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    Faulty generalization is a general term for generalizing beyond the original context without sufficient inquiry or evidence to back it up. See also Argument from incredulity that also appeals to personal sentiments as a basis for a conclusion, but not in the way your example describes.
    – Conifold
    Feb 2 at 19:50
  • 1
    The argument can be simplified as Liking X is shallow. Seeing X belittles me. If people like X, they accept belittlement. Hence, they lack a sense of self-value. Two key assumptions seem to be seeing X affects others as it does me and others have no other reason to like X.
    – Michael
    Feb 3 at 22:42
  • @Michael Yeah that's a good way to put it. What logical fallacy would that fall under? Is it all faulty generalization or is there more to it? Feb 4 at 5:34

2 Answers 2

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The main argument can be abstracted as follows:

Sentiment: Liking X is shallow.

Premise 1: Seeing X belittles me.

Premise 2: Lacking a sense of self-value results in tolerance for belittlement.

Assumption 1: Seeing X belittles others.

Assumption 2: Liking X implies tolerance for belittlement.

Assumption 3: Tolerance for belittlement implies lacking a sense of self-value.

Conclusion: Those who like X lack a sense of self-value.

In the above, assumption 1 could be an example of assumed similarity bias and or hasty generalisation. Assumption 2 follows perhaps logically from assumption 1. Finally, assumption 3 appears be an example of affirming the consequent, unless lacking a sense of self-value is the only possible explanation for tolerating belittlement.

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Incoherent rambling more than fallacy

First sentence claims that idea is a perception (shallow for that matter), which is nonsensical from a classical standpoint - perception is usually defined as "gathering" of empirical phenomena, which could only then potentially evolve into ideas. Or in other words, perception predates ideas, does not encompass them.

Second sentence talks abut some personal experience and mentality : this person fills belittled when someone talks about things unknown to him . Which could be true for that person but is no way general - other people could for example be excited to learn new things.

Third sentence is also personal opinion, it basically states that people who like to listen about new and unknown things have low self-esteem. Which could be described as formal fallacy of non sequitur.

Overall, whole passage is not worthy of logical analysis, perhaps psychology could find it more interesting for study.

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  • I think the idea of the first sentence, where you compared the idea and perception can be easily dismissed. The original person who posted this statement probably used these unaware of the nuances they hold; to fully interpret, I think it would be better to assume that their function in the sentence is more or less similar. Feb 5 at 7:35
  • 1
    @JeoLuntayan Well, in order to begin testing some statement for fallacies, it must be first made in some at least somewhat formalized language. We cannot understand each other if you keep calling cabbage a tomato :) Anyway, even if we replace "perception" with "idea" in first sentence, it is basically just an opinion without proof, i.e. could be again non sequitur.
    – rs.29
    Feb 5 at 9:38
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    I'm sure psychologists would also find it worthless. Maybe those who study Choprawoo might glance at it, but it's not even popular... =)
    – user21820
    Feb 6 at 17:25
  • @user21820 I read the link, and based on the tone of your comment I can assume that the "take" I wrote above is just a plain, stupid at sophistry? Feb 10 at 14:32
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    @JeoLuntayan: Your comment has a grammatical error, but if I read it right then yes. My comment was in agreement to "whole passage is not worthy of logical analysis" and in response to "perhaps psychology could find it more interesting for study". That is to say, the example you quoted in your question is undeserving of any analysis whatsoever. In fact, it sounds exactly like the output of a markov chain that is merely designed to produce grammatical sentences favouring the keywords "idea" and "ideal".
    – user21820
    Feb 10 at 16:50

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