Questions tagged [fallacies]

Concerns formal (syllogistic) fallacies, informal (rhetorical) fallacies, tactical misdirection, and errors in logic or reasoning more broadly put.

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Differentiating an argument from authority from expert testimony

Consider the following argument : The mathematical theorem T is a true theorem, because person(s) P say so. In a scientific context, it would be a fallacious argument from authority. However, suppose ...
Sam's user avatar
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8 answers
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Is there a name for the widespread logical fallacy in which you prove your point by 'eliminating' anyone who contradicts you?

I've encountered this relentlessly in my life. You offer proof that someone is wrong, or even simply state something more obvious than the sun that they don't like, they ban you or do something else ...
user8600's user avatar
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1 answer
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Logical fallacy: no one would be so dumb to

Fact: the car peeling away from the robbed bank has Alice's license plate Conclusion 1: suggests Alice might be involved in the bank robbery. Conclusion 2: if Alice was involved in the robbery, she ...
megane's user avatar
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1 answer
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A question on contrapositives and predicates

So I am a freshman taking an intro class to logic. And the question started off from a class exercise we've got which asked us to identify the covering generalization for the following conditional ...
Alex Li's user avatar
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19 votes
11 answers
9k views

Is 'No True Scotsman' indeed a fallacy?

I have a trouble with many so-called 'fallacies' and 'No True Scotsman' is a no exception... Let me quote a famous line from The Game of Thrones: Any man who must say "I am the King" is no ...
gaazkam's user avatar
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Is there a term for when one claims that something can't be true of the collective because it is not true of every individual within the collective?

Basically as the title says, I'm wondering if there is a term for when someone says that because there are some exceptions to the norm, that the norm cannot be considered as part or all of what ...
LavenderTea045147's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
137 views

Situation deemed as offensive, where offended party and/ or point of offense is not clear

In the past, medical literature noted that people suffering from trisomy 21 (Down's Syndrome) had Mongoloid features. This was later revised as it was deemed offensive. For this question, I assume the ...
mindoverflow's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
110 views

Is this comparison committing a fallacy? [closed]

I am trying to build an argument against a friend: Me: "In your chess games against me, you never resign even when the conclusion is inevitable. I feel that this is a waste of time, and I object.&...
Jelle Van den Eynde's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is a false dichotomy still a dichotomy?

Given that an [adjective] X is still an X, is a false dichotomy still a dichotomy? This question is not exactly like asking one about a false belief, but it is similar as far as the wordplay is ...
SO_fix_the_vote_sorting_bug's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
79 views

A priori argument fallacy

Considering the "A priori argument logical fallacy" (see https://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/engl1311/fallacies.htm) Is there a way to formalize it (technical expression) using the ...
Vincent ISOZ's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
650 views

What's the name of the logical fallacy of when you answer a question with essentially something that doesn't mean anything?

I've been trying to search in Wikipedia's list of fallacies but didn't find one that seemed to quite fit this case. Is there a name for the fallacy of when someone answers a question with essentially ...
F. ALA's user avatar
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18 answers
6k views

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Alice has made some anecdotal observations. Through a process of elimination, she proposes a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, as well as an experiment to validate (or otherwise) her hypothesis. ...
Xophmeister's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
113 views

What fallacy is this?

P1: My opinions change as a result of brain function P2: Brain function is caused by opinions stored within it (slightly dodgy premise but if you wouldn't mind assuming it to be true, whether it is ...
sket's user avatar
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8 votes
7 answers
996 views

Can reason be precisely defined?

Reason, or rationality, is classically defined as deriving a conclusion from observations. Again, classically this is achieved by the application of logic. Aristotle explained it in this way. There ...
Meanach's user avatar
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On Modus Ponens/Tollens Fallacies

Modus Ponens IF p THEN q p Ergo, q Valid! Modus Tollens IF p THEN q ~q Ergo, ~p Valid! Converse Fallacy IF p THEN q q Ergo, p Invalid! Inverse Fallacy IF p THEN q ~p Ergo, ~q Invalid. ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
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2 answers
179 views

Is modus ponens inherently circular?

Consider this simple argument for why Socrates is mortal: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Thus, Socrates is mortal. This argument can be roughly formalized as follows: IF P THEN Q R R≡P Q ...
Jimmy Yang's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

Category errors and positive properties

A category error is what you get when you assert of an object x a property p which makes no sense when applied to x. Examples: The number two is red. The number two was created at time t. The dog is ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
182 views

Is the principle of charity just confirmation bias?

The principle of charity seems absolutely integral to studying philosophy in any way at all. How does an overlap of charity and confirmation bias work out, either in the class room or in philosophical ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
107 views

What fallacy is it when someone accuses an entire group of hypocrisy, instead of taking into account individual opposing ideas?

For example - "You all claim to want women's liberation, yet you bully women into shaving. Therefore you don't truly want women's liberation." It's unlikely these contradictory actions/...
sleepy1's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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What’s the logical fallacy that’s based on “what could have been” arguments?

I’ve recently become interested with religious philosophy, and when researching I often come across this line of thought: “it would’ve been better if life hadn’t been created at all, because living is ...
seministic's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
163 views

Is it as fallacy to say that you misunderstand in some unspecifiable way?

Suppose I am presented with an argument, and respond that they have misunderstood something so badly that, while I am clear about what is being said, I cannot say what error the argument (or question) ...
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Fallacy of the Devil You Know

I just made up that name for the fallacy, but I'm wondering if there is a more common term for it. The fallacy is basically inferring from an inconclusive set of evidence to a particular explanation ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
502 views

Can this be an example of sophism?

Foreword: 0 is considered an even number, but if 0 would be an even number, then 0 apples would count an even number of apples. Example: 3 apples [🍏🍏🍏] 2 apples [🍏🍏 ] 1 apple [🍏 ] ...
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3 votes
1 answer
90 views

Word-Pairing Rhetorical Tactic

I am looking for a name referring to a rhetoric/propaganda tactic in which words are paired together to change perceptions? For example, if I said, "a controversial speaker is giving a lecture at ...
Jason Esposito's user avatar
4 votes
11 answers
4k views

Is there a distance so small it can't be further divided?

If I shoot an arrow at a target, at some point it will reach one half of the distance to the target. Then it will reach one half of that distance. It will continue to reach the half of the previous ...
Brian's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a correlation fallacy?

I was listening to a YouTube channel talk about diet soda and the YouTuber said: "Artificial sweeteners make you gain weight? That is bullshit! Pretty much all the evidence comes from ...
Noah's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
993 views

Rejecting a proposition because there are other similar propositions

Some unbelievers come up with the argument along the line of: Religion A says it is the absolute truth, so does Religion B, so does Religion C, and so forth. So the logical conclusion is that all are ...
blackened's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
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Isn’t every inference a fallacy?

Unless the conclusion after a set of premises is necessary or from a deductively valid argument, isn’t every inference technically a fallacy? And so if every inference is a fallacy, why the need for ...
thinkingman's user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
169 views

What is the fallacy called where "Nothing a liar said can be true?"

What is the fallacy called where "Nothing a liar said can be true" (i.e., "false in most things, false in everything")? For example, consider that 99% of something someone said is ...
Cody Kentucky's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
86 views

Type of false reasoning?

I don't have extensive background in philosophy but I try to outline my question clearly. I am arguing with a person who always uses the same logic. We have an outcome X such a medical disease ...
arkiaamu's user avatar
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9 votes
12 answers
4k views

Is attacking an argument because it's machine generated an ad hominem fallacy?

I really want to say rejecting a line of reasoning because ChatGPT created it would be an ad machina argument. (Note, I'm interested in the case where the rejection is made without any consideration ...
BCS's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Begging the question is a type of circular reasoning?

From wikipedia: Begging the question is a type of circular reasoning, and often occurs in an indirect way such that the fallacy's presence is hidden, or at least not easily apparent. Is that ...
Sazzad Hissain Khan's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
109 views

If there is one conspiracy, then may there be many?

Clearly, there have been some sorts of conspiracies and secrets in the past, and this doesn't mean that we should take the claim the moon landings were faked very seriously. But what if you found out ...
user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
102 views

Is this is logical fallacy?

"I've always argued P. But in this case, I believe not-P. (Implied conclusion: in this case, not-P)" One hears it from political commentators and others who think that their own personal ...
mster8390's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
102 views

Fallacies and biases of analogical reasoning

When we observe a dog wounded in a traffic accident, for instance, we infer that the dog must be in pain, based on the analogy between humans and dogs and what we know about humans. The structure of ...
quanity's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
79 views

If moral statements aren't supposed to be reports of objective facts, does the practice of "fallacy checking" apply to moral arguments?

Maybe this is just a case of Jörgensen’s dilemma, but so I was reading the SEP article about feminist perspectives on argumentation, more specifically this passage: The difficulty some philosophers ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
51 views

U disagree with me and I say "U always do the same", actually me doing the same! [closed]

Sometimes people are talking to you, then you disagree with them, then they will accuse you of "always disagreeing and/or not compliant". But in fact they are doing the same thing that they ...
Tanvir's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
91 views

Attacker accuses the defender. What fallacy is going on here?

Suppose one country, the aggressor, launches a missile attack against another country, the defender. During the attack, the defender activates its anti-missile defense system and successfully shoots ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
131 views

The "Linking" Trick

This is more of a persuasion/manipulation tactic I see mostly media outlets employ. Linking is the name I came up with to describe when something is intentionally associated with something else to ...
Jason Esposito's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
219 views

Master morality vs slave morality

I have read master morality vs slave morality through youtube and net. Every one has different interpretation. Can some one summarize and explain what Nietzsche really tried to say ?
quanity's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Does THIS fallacy have a name? [duplicate]

Three examples of what I mean: I argue against trying to increase social equality in your country, because there will always be much poorer countries. I argue against exercising, because you will ...
Daron's user avatar
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2 votes
8 answers
922 views

Isn't there a very obvious flaw in the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit?

I have read the Wikipedia article on the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit, first published by Richard Dawkins, and it seems to me that there is a very obvious problem with the argument that isn't mentioned ...
A-Level Student's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
104 views

Provenance of 'malicious joke' "He has not interpreted my words as I intended. For I intended that there be no counterexamples."

I doubt this could be where I originally came across this quip/joke, but a google search found it in footnote #2 of [1]. The footnote reads: 2 Compare the malicious joke: 'Mr. Z claims to have found ...
David C. Norris's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
102 views

My scales has been accurate for the past year. I weigh something today. Should I assume that the measurement is accurate? If so, why?

My scales has been accurate for the past year. I weigh something today using my scales and it says that it weighs 1kg. Should I assume that the measurement is accurate? If so, why? Here is the ...
A-Level Student's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
62 views

Help trying to update beliefs

You lose at cards. Suppose the chances that the other person was card counting, P, is 1/1000. You lose at cards again. This time, the chances that this person was counting cards, B, is 1/100. The ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Logical Analysis of Argument

Andrew: I think this country needs more scientists. Britney: But if everyone were scientists, then we won't have any artists! And without artists, we might as well all be robots. Is Britney's argument ...
Geyooo Oghey's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
82 views

What kind of fallacy is in that situation?

What kind of fallacy is there in saying that it is improbable that people will do radical actions, (like becoming religious) if there isn't a bit of truth to it. Could there be fallacies that were not ...
E_1's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
84 views

Why doesn't acknowledging the barber's dual identity resolve the Barber Paradox?

The Barber Paradox is given as: "In a village, there is a male barber who shaves only those who do not shave themselves. The question is: Does the barber shave himself?". But, here is the ...
HerrAlvé's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
199 views

What's the official term for interpreting an ambiguous argument into the worst possible way?

I've come across a type of argument I hear often when discussing touchier subjects. I call it "The Worst Possible Interpretation Argument". It goes like this — I say "I agree or support ...
Jason Esposito's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

Is there such a thing as a Conflation Fallacy? Or something like it?

I commonly find this phenomenon when debating, where my statement is conflated with another similar statement or idea. For example, if Person A. said "X is the highest grossing Horror movie of ...
Jason Esposito's user avatar

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