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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If this is a logical fallacy, does it have a specific name?

I had a debate with a friend regarding his uprooting of interesting plants in a woodland. He argued that it's a big forest and he only took a few plants, so doesn't cause much damage. He also ...
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Name of the argument fallacy when someone only attempts to refute one of your points?

I've never found out the name of this fallacy, or even if there is a name for it, but it seems to me it's the fallacy that occurs by far the most often. You are having a debate with someone and then ...
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Post hoc fallacy Vs. Slippery slope fallacy

What are the differences between Post hoc fallacy and Slippery slope fallacy? Why they are different?
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What is the logical fallacy called, that states “doing something is better than doing nothing”?

I think this just exists to ease our conscience to be able to say, well at least we tried something even though everyone knows it didn't change anything. Because just "standing by" fells wrong to us, ...
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Is this an ad hoc rescue, a red herring, or jumping back and forth between two different arguments?

A man owns two male pit bulls that have not been neutered. He tells a friend that he intends on leaving them unattended in his fenced in back yard while he is at work. His friend says "Wouldn't you ...
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Is there a name for the fallacy whereby the other party to the debate only suggests, does not articulate, what their point is?

Often, in a dispute, people only suggest their point without ever articulating it. An awful lot of people actually do that. This makes any rational debate impossible (if you second guess, they can ...
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Is “democracy” a preferential system, even when everyone has “just one vote”?

Is "democracy" a preferential system, even when everyone has "just one vote"? That is, does it prefer something? Is it more beneficial towards someone? I've speculated that: democracy and "one vote"...
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Philosophical argument against lifting weights [closed]

Okay here it is: Proponents of weightlifting claim that lifting weights can make weak muscles become strong. The problem with this claim is its obvious circular reasoning. For the ability to lift ...
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“I support the troops” = fallacy or what?

In the U.S., many liberals say "I don't support the war, but I support troops." Loosely translated, it sounds like they're saying I don't support the war, but I support the troops who are fighting ...
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Logical fallacy: Person remarks on low probability of event, without considering similar events

I know that this is a common error that people make, but I don't know if there is a term for this error. Basically, it's when people consider an event to be remarkable because of its low probability, ...
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Is it possible to determine if one's perceptions and logic are valid?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that I live in a world divided into tribes with strongly-differing views. My tribe says that many of our opponent's values are immoral and much of their leadership ...
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Is this a logical fallacy: using your statement against you

Is there a logical fallacy in this situation? : Person 1: This group is judgmental. Person 2: Your saying the group is judgmental is judgmental. I am not sure how to explain what appears off in ...
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Is reductio ad absurdum a fallacy?

If Miles told Frank: “Copying a DVD is stealing” And Frank's response to Miles: “if copying a DVD is stealing, then, by that logic, taking a photo of someone is kidnapping” And Miles Response is: “...
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Isn't the notion that everything will occur in an infinite timeline an example of the gambler's fallacy?

I've seen a few different formulations of this, but the most famous is "monkeys on a typewriter" - that if you put a team of monkeys on a typewriter, given infinite time, they will eventually produce ...
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Informal fallacies and their fallacious nature

What imparts to informal fallacies their fallacious nature? I have been reading Wikipedia because of the ease of access, as well as some references listed there, like https://www.humanities.mcmaster....
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Paradox of compromise illustrated by neighbours painting houses

If I remember correctly, there was a problem illustrating the paradox of compromise (and to some extent democracy?) where there are two neighbours that want to paint their houses. They both want ...
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Is accusing someone of discrimination by focusing on a minority ad hominem?

Suppose person a has a view that x is better than y. But person b thinks y is better than x for z group of people. Therefore person b decides that person a hates z group of people. Example: A: ...
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Do inconsistent premises in an argument hurt a person's case while they try to defend something they believe in?

Do inconsistent premises in an argument hurt a person's case while they try to defend something they believe in because their statements contradict each other?
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What fallacy = Narrow Focus or Oversimplification

Imagine a mythical country - X - that is suffering from severe economic problems. Millions of people are unemployed, millions more have part-time jobs or are working without benefits. There's an army ...
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Name for this Logical Fallacy

Suppose there is a non-empty subset A of U. Let A' denote the complement of A in U. What is the name of this logical fallacy? X is true for A therefore not X is true for­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ A' ...
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Opposite of victim blaming?

If victim blaming is the fallacy of automatically assigning fault to the victim ("it's her fault because she was dressed that way"), what is the fallacy of exonerating a person simply by virtue of ...
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Is there a logical fallacy to identity politics?

My understanding of Identity Politics goes as follows: A is a member of/identifies with group X B is not a member of/does not identify with group X A frames challenge S in terms of X Because B doesn’...
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Is Aristotle's fallacy actually a fallacy?

In Indian syllabi, students of Physics are told that Aristotle wrongly believed that an external force was required to keep a body in motion. However, based on the little I've read on Aristotelian ...
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Wittgenstein and “linguistic trap”

In a book on philosophy I've lost by now I encounter an argument about "linguistic trap" idea attributed to Wittgenstein, that is, such a trap is supposed to be "taking linguistic convention or ...
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What is the fallacy in which a person adheres to an original idea, even after it has been proven wrong?

What is the fallacy in which a person adheres to an original idea, even after it has been proven wrong? In other words, it is the inverse of hindsight bias. In hindsight bias, the person imagines ...
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Do HeLa cells prove immortality?

Does modern science, especially HeLa cells, prove that immortality (in the classic sense) is real (for these cells) or possible in the future?
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I saw the following “Baker's Fallacy” in a reddit thread but need help understanding it since I can't find any info on it

Context: I was explaining to a natalist how life/existence is objectively bad because it leads to suffering, pain and death, while nonexistence does not. All he kept saying was that I was committing "...
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“I did it this way, it worked, so what I did is correct”

"I spat in my pasta while cooking it, it turned out good, therefore spitting in my pasta is beneficial to the result." What is the name for such fallacious reasoning? It seems like A happened before ...
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Is this an application of the sunk cost fallacy?

Before going to sleep, make your agenda as specific as possible! Then you'll have a harder time abandoning it since you already put so much effort into creating it. Is it the sunk cost fallacy ...
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How does imprecise and ambiguous natural language relate to the equivocation fallacy and how can we know what words mean?

I am feeling really confused on how we colloquially use and redefine words and sometime use the equivocation fallacy. I have fallen into equivocation language traps before, and as I become more aware ...
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What is the name of the fallacy involving white and black swans?

If one argues: I have seen only white swans, therefore there are no black swans. What would this fallacy be called?
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What kind of fallacy is this, if it is one? Are these personal attacks ad hominem?

If that's indeed a kind of fallacy or maybe multiple stacked (informal?) fallacies or some kind of a psychological bias. Examples in which I sense a similar pattern which I'm trying to identify here: ...
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Is this a logical fallacy or simply a bad argument?

In my English class today, we were talking about thesis statements. One of the students said that one of the thesis statements didn't sound right; its syntax sounded odd. However, my teacher said that ...
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Is it a logical fallacy? A question about majority opinion and samples

Say a community of X number of people is notified of a sudden policy change by higher authorities, and Y number of people from the community express their opinions for or against the policy change. ...
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When does a fallacy fallacy apply?

I'm confused on how the 'fallacy fallacy' is applied in an argument. Let's say a person, let's call them X, proposes an argument to another person, let's call them Y. X proposes an argument to Y ...
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Which fallacy: Thinking everything someone does in a discussion that's wrong is a fallacy?

There are a lot of questions about which fallacy something is on this site. Many times, the argument in the question is not actually a fallacy, but something that the questioner doesn't like/agree ...
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What type of rhetorical device is the offering of a source which is really long and not specifying what part of the source is relevant?

I'm encountering a frequent recurrence of a rhetorical device that seems to me fallacious but I can't figure out what it's called. When making an argument, the person does the following: Makes a ...
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Fallacy or Just Flawed Thinking?

I am just wondering if a specific fallacy applies to this kind of situation. A experiences an event X, which we later note seems correlated with Y - but not causally. Upon telling A that X ...
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Which fallacy: “If white privilege exists, why did Elizabeth Warren pretend to be an Indian?”

I recently came across this meme. It's clearly a logical fallacy (the existence of one use of a socioeconomic tool other than white privilege does not preclude the existence of white privilege), but I'...
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“She was asking for it” fallacy

A woman dons a bikini and visits a bar full of marines. She is sexually assaulted. Most people would agree she did something unwise, but they would also agree that her behavior didn't justify the ...
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What is the fallacy / bias where the sample is taken after the fact?

I came across a post on Facebook which tried to celebrate how the "old ways" (when we were kids) are better, which went along the lines of: Like this post if you used to cycle around on your bike ...
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What is the difference between the Narrative Fallacy and the Post-hoc Rationalization?

Or are they the same thing? Personally I fail to see the difference between these two, but I want to be sure. EDIT Narrative fallacy "Metaphors and stories are far more potent (alas) than ideas; ...
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What do you call the fallacy of thinking that some action A will guarantee some outcome B, when in reality B depends on multiple other conditions?

Example: Dentist: “You have multiple cavities.” Patient: “That’s ridiculous! You always told me that brushing my teeth prevents cavities. I brush my teeth every night. Therefore, I can’t possibly ...
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logical fallacy (or pseudo-logical, or rhetoric) corresponding to unduly extending my argument to make it false

This is probably similar to my preceding question: What's the name of the logical fallacy where a debater extends a statement far beyond the original statement to make it true? but I'm not sure ...
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Is this ad hominem or in general acceptable behavior during an argument?

Person A: What is considered socially acceptable should be common sense regardless of outside influences. Person B: What is considered common sense or obvious can be very different depending on ...
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Looking for existing discourse on the category of fallacies exemplified by “paradox of tolerance”

Popper coined the phrase "paradox of tolerance" when discussing how unlimited tolerance is self-contradictory (paradoxical) in that it precludes self-preservation (resisting intolerance). The seeming ...
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What is the meaning of Logos?

While trying to ascertain a better understanding on the topic of Logos, I interpret from a offering a more modern view that it is "a logic that recycles God into a mind hiding through sign-...
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Is there a “hierarchical” or “webbing” pattern to logical/cognitive fallacies?

Is there a "hierarchical" or "webbing" pattern to logical/cognitive fallacies? Something that I've thought. Some fallacies may be related to others and the idea is that "if one does one, then it may ...
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What fallacy is arguing from something being more X to it being completely X?

What fallacy is arguing from something being more X to it being completely X? An example to illustrate: The sea is more blue than the sky, so the sea is just blue, has no red etc. It could be ...
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How do you measure circular reasoning? [closed]

How do you measure circular reasoning?

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