Consider we have a statement that is perhaps true for one specific meaning of a particular word (or one particular conception of a concept) in its formulation. There may be consequences that flow logically in the case of that particular meaning or conception.

If however the same statement is then used to justify an identical or equivalent consequence with respect to another meaning of the word, does this constitute a fallacy of some sort? I am not thinking about a totally different unrelated meaning - which would be more obviously flawed - but where the consequence is transposed to a related but in fact distinct meaning. Sorry I'm struggling to think of an example I can share.

I wonder about vicious abstractionism and false equivalence but they both seem a bit different to this.

  • 4
    – user4894
    Nov 27, 2022 at 5:28
  • 1
    The Fallacy of Four Terms. Nov 27, 2022 at 5:32
  • Yes I think equivocation is what I'm talking about. Does this apply equally when statement is being refuted? E.g. Fred: children are young and innocent; Jim: we are all children so you are incorrect. Is Jim's refutation fallacy of equivocation if Fred has defined his meaning?
    – geotheory
    Nov 27, 2022 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


@user4894 has correctly identified equivocation as the fallacy.

  • It is a factual answer because it is clear that equivocation is precisely the fallacy in question. Feel free to edit the response if you see it necessary.
    – geotheory
    Dec 2, 2022 at 8:52

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