Questions tagged [fallacies]

concerns logical fallacies, which are errors in the logic or reasoning of an argument that result in a misconception or presumption. The fallacies tag is also appropriate for analysis of tactics that may be applied deliberately to deceive. For example, if tactical omissions in an argument motivate a member of the audience to try to fill in omitted elements, then this can be portrayed as a straw man attack against the creator of the argument.

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Is this a reasonable argument? Dr. Fauci on Face Masks

In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci (Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the U.S.) was asked why he advised the public against wearing masks in early 2020. One of Dr. Fauci's arguments was ...
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What is the line between a strawman and a genuine criticism?

There is a very fine-line between strawman and genuine criticism. How do you find the line? In recent debates about abolishing the police, a common counterargument is "Do you want criminals ...
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Is Yoda committing a fallacy?

I've been debating with a hard core Star Wars friend who loves repeating Yoda's "Do or do not, there is no try" knowledge. I tried to explain that the DO (B) and DO NOT (C), are end results, ...
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What is the fallacy that agreeing with one point with someone means that you agree with everything else that person says?

I often come across a certain fallacy when talking to people regarding agreeing with someone about something necessarily means I agree with everything else. Here is one example: John is an atheist, ...
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Climbing the slippery slope. Is it still slippery slope fallacy or something else?

I noticed that slippery slope fallacy is used to defend status quo. Like "If we legalize soft drugs, then it will significantly increase probability that we will legalize hard drugs too in the ...
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Is there a fallacy of composition in this argument?

This is an argument from an LSAT, where the question is about finding flaw(s) in the argument: HomeGlo Paints, Inc, has won the prestigious Gloden Paintbrush Award--given to the one paint ...
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“You're not X, but… that says a lot”. Is this a fallacy?

I've seen this happen quite a lot in arguments about sensitive topics, such as racism, sexism or homophobia. When presenting a potentially controversial stance, someone might cushion the blow by ...
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What is the name of this fallacy: “A is B, therefore everything is B”? [duplicate]

We've all heard some form of the following statements: "I like cookies, therefore everyone likes cookies" "That plane is yellow, so all planes must be yellow." "I have come ...
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what is the fallacy when someone misrepresents someone's views but acts as if they're not

For example, when Doctor X says "its bad when celiac compromised people eat gluten", then in an argument I say "its bad when everyone eats gluten, not just celiac compromised people. I ...
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Winning Percentage Fallacy

Consider a combat tournament with a large number (sufficiently large that small sample size is not a problem) of combatants, in which each match is zero-sum and has a winner (there are no ties). The ...
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Is the appeal to futility a logical error, fallacious?

I've heard though unreliable sources that it's the nirvana fallacy, list of logical fallacies: solutions to problems are rejected because they are not perfect. Although, this doesn't quite fit. I've ...
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What is this logical fallacy? (Nothing new under the sun?)

It has been two decades since I took a reason and argument course in college. I am rusty on my command of logical fallacies. With that preface, I have been trying to locate a logical fallacy that ...
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Is this a 'Post hoc ergo propter hoc' Fallacy?

Is this a Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy? 'The most intense lightning storm ever recorded was followed by many numerous Bushfires; the lightning must have caused them.' and why? Thanks for any ...
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Is there a formal name for the “philosopher's fallacy” or “fallacy of underwhelming exception”?

I'm looking for the name for a particular logical fallacy that I think of variously as the "philosopher's fallacy" or the "annoying middle school kid fallacy", based on the ...
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How reliable are scientific instruments such as spectrometry in the determination of the oldest material “Startdust”? [closed]

After reading one of the latest findings by scientists, Stardust was considered the oldest material on earth. However having not much of an experience with chemistry, I was intrigued upon how ...
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Is the DREAM controversy an example of the logical fallacy of personal incredulity?

There's this Minecraft speed-runner called Dream who has been accused of cheating due to his drop luck. A moderator team has calculated that the p-value of the chance you'd get the same drops as Dream ...
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What type of logical fallacy happens here?

This has been going on a lot lately in my country. Usually, in a discussion where some antisocial behavior of an organization is being criticized, a supporter of the organization, usually a member of ...
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What type of logical fallacy leads to a false conclusion of expertise?

If someone says they have never taken an action, and never had any issues, therefore that action is problematic, and they are now an expert what logical fallacy(s) is that? For example: "Driving ...
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What is the philosophical term for using half-truths to intentionally mislead?

Our local school district has been distributing propaganda to support keeping schools open during an uncontrolled pandemic. There has been a common pattern among these statements, where a half-truth ...
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Is it possible to draw the line with “hasty generalization”?

At what point does a generalization become fallacious and hasty? If I say people who smoke get cancer and the data shows that 90% of smokers get cancer, is that still a hasty generalization? Or 60%? ...
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How are objective probabilites and statistics (frequency in the world) of groups related to individual cases?

I'm a bit confused about why frequentist measures of probability based on groups are relevant to individual cases. It seems that moving from the group to the individual is somehow a violation of the ...
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What is the philosophical term used to describe flawed logic?

A freak snowstorm strikes Washington, D.C. Climate change deniers hail it as evidence of global COOLING, not warming. It seems logical since snow is popularly associated with cold. However, it seldom ...
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Utilitarianism and naturalistic fallacy [closed]

Does utilitarianism commit the naturalistic fallacy? Can someone tell with respect to act and rule utilitarianism?
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Is my analysis of Dawkins fallicies correct?

I have been analyzing arguments made by prominent atheist and looking for logical fallacies. I am new at this. Are my analyses correct? from: “The All Time best arguments against religion/faith #2 (...
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Difference between non-sequitur fallacy and post hoc fallacy?

What is the difference between post hoc fallacy and non sequitur fallacy?
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Is it a logical fallacy to change or restrict the meaning of an idea, word or concept used to prove an argument?

This is not meant to be a political discussion. I just have run into this technique of sort of reverse engineering an argument that usually relies on some sort of redefining or narrowly restricting ...
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What are some non-trivial examples of the use/mention error?

Examples of use/ mention fallacies one often encounters are toy examples, such as : (1) The Morning Star is Venus. (2) Venus is a 5 letters word. (3) Therefore the Morning Star is a 5 letters word. (1)...
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What is my fallacy? LSAT Reasoning Question: Titanium Ink

I have a question regarding an LSAT Reasoning question and it drives me crazy Question is: Until recently it was thought that ink used before the sixteenth century did not contain titanium. However, ...
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On questions such as “How do you know that X doesn't work? Have you tried it all possible ways?”

I often find people using questions similar to the following one: How do you know there isn't a god? Have you looked everywhere? As the answer to the second question is obviously "no", ...
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Is there a name for when people don't actually “improve” something?

A lot times, though not all, when people do something they feel it is particularly righteous, it is a very shortsighted approach that lacks a more holistic consideration of other variables. Is there a ...
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Experiencing and sensing time dilation when a person dies and the logic of

It is well known that when a person goes to sleep, there are instances when we do not experience time which has phenomenological implications. There is a temporal discontinuity. It is also known that ...
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Causality, Universal and Particulars, Evolution, and Theology

In a Socratic dialogue I wrote published in issue 122 of "Philosophy Now", I have Socrates conversing with a scientist (Moe), on a park bench. Socrates has come down from the clouds to take ...
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Does the following argument about the ontological nature of math exhibit poor reasoning?

Argument P1: Mathematics is the substrate upon which all natural phenomena occur and necessarily governs phenomena in the physical world. P2: One can experience something that is not mathematically ...
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Name for a logical fallacy: confusing measures in argumentation

I have encountered a line of reasoning in my research which seems to be fallacious. An example is if you wanted to know something about the general health of an individual, you could measure many ...
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Knowing versus understanding the composition of the universe

The mass-energy content of the Universe is approximately this: 5% normal matter, 20% dark matter, and 75% dark energy. Because we don't know much about dark matter and dark energy, apart from the fact ...
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What's the name of the fallacy?

What's the name of the fallacy? If I assume, someone X has done a fallacy in other argument A1 so he will do a fallacy in another argument A2. What would be the name of this fallacy I am doing?
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Why does a hypothesis not self-defeat under fallacy of the gaps?

I was listening to an atheism-vs-theism debate on YouTube, and the two debaters came to a disagreement when talking about God of the Gaps. Person A: "If we look at all the evidence, we can see ...
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What is this logical fallacy called? [duplicate]

You made mistakes in the past, but learned from them and now you are not committing these mistakes any longer. However, because you committed these mistakes in the past, some might say, that you are ...
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What is this fallacy: “Expecting something to continue just because it has never stopped”

For example: Technology will keep advancing in terms of innovation purely because it has not stopped advancing. Is there a fallacy for this?
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What fallacy does “technology will have improved next year, so let's wait” fall under?

Technology is rapidly evolving; each year brings new innovations, new devices and improved software solutions. If one were to start a new software project, one might reason as follows: I could build ...
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Is there a name for this variation of poisoning the well?

Poisoning the well refers to the practice of presenting embarrassing information about an opponent, discrediting the opponent and, by extension, discrediting their message as well. Is there a name for ...
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What is “Can't make X? Don't criticize it.” fallacy called?

What is the name of the fallacy that attempts to invalidate a criticism of an instance of doing an activity because one providing the criticism is not very proficient in said activity (or not doing it ...
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Is there a name for this Freudian-inspired fallacy?

Yet another of these fallacy questions... There is a certain kind of rhetorical move which famously might occur in classical psychoanalysis, but also in other situations. The therapist says the ...
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Is the use of this conditional proposition correct, or does it violate the rules of logic?

Is the reasoning answering this logic puzzle correct? One of the answers was by Hexomino on question 1: I think that the lawyer's statement does not help the client. Consider the following statement &...
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Is there a name for this kind of (bad) argumentation?

I get into / come across exchanges like the following all the time. Sally: Murder and cutting in line are similar in that they're both immoral. John: Are you SERIOUSLY comparing CUTTING IN LINE with ...
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Is there a name for this fallacy?

In order for me to describe this “fallacy” coherently, I will write it as an analogy. So, I was reading how people were saying Trump was not taking the pandemic seriously and he needed to take further ...
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What is the name of this fallacy: 101 is either binary or decimal?

A similar example would be of binary and decimal number where we are not sure about the number system or the person who proposed a number is not remotely available to disclose about number system. e....
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Mathematical universe hypothesis: Why shouldn't all imaginable universes exist?

In his paper on mathematical universe hypothesis, Max Tegmark only responses with a single paragraph to this assumption: The MUH and the Level IV multiverse idea does certainly not imply that all ...
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What fallacy is this that I see all the time? [duplicate]

What is this fallacy? I see it all the time. Someone will say something like “it’s so good to see these animals released from captivity” and then another will reply with a response along the lines of.....
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Only three countries don't use the metric system: the US, Liberia and Myanmar

"Ha ha, stupid America is just like Liberia and Myanmar!!" I know this has to be a logical fallacy, but don't know which one. Is that the fallacy of False Equivalency (an equivalence is ...

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