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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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Descartes Statement in Second Meditation is illogical?

In the second paragraph of Meditation Two: Concerning the Nature of the Human Mind: That it is better known than the Body, Descartes writes “Therefore I suppose that everything I see is false. I ...
Matt Harper's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
197 views

How precisely is "Steel Man" different from "Iron Man" in a debate?

In a debate, Steel Man technique has been touted as the antidote of committing the Straw man fallacy. It doesn't appear to be a fallacy, but a virtue. Then I came across the Iron Man fallacy, ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
-1 votes
4 answers
102 views

How does Bias affect the reliability of a process?

So my attempt is to define a process and test it on its reliability. In a discussion, an argument was made that a consensus on the reliability of the process is needed for a process to be reliable. ...
telion's user avatar
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20 votes
10 answers
2k views

Orderings in Philosophy

First of all, I’m a mathematician, not a philosopher, so I apologize in advance for any oversights or if my question maybe isn’t too relevant in philosophy. When reading popular philosophical content, ...
Henry T.'s user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
120 views

What kind of logical fallacy is the "Who are you?" scene from Anger Management?

I was wondering what kind of fallacy to attribute to an encounter I once had and, after writing for a bit, realized that I could literally sum it up by pointing to this scene from Anger Management: ...
BVernon's user avatar
  • 132
2 votes
1 answer
70 views

What would be the name for the fallacy leaving out important supporting evidence from an opponents argument?

I know if one misrepresents an opponents position to make it look weaker than it is that’s known as a straw-man fallacy. I’m not sure if leaving out important supporting evidence would qualify as a ...
Anders Gustafson's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
3k views

Are there any fallacies in Stephen C. Meyer's argument for classical theism from the Big Bang singularity?

Christian YouTuber and apologist Brandon McGuire recently shared a review of Piers Morgan's interview with Stephen C. Meyer, author of Return of the God Hypothesis, on his talk show Piers Morgan ...
Mark's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
187 views

How can I justify trusting my own thoughts without begging the question?

Suppose I attempt to justify trusting my own thoughts with an argument. Suppose I read the argument and find it compelling. The very process of reading an argument (presumably written in English or ...
Mark's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
149 views

Can you help me understand the masked man paradox?

The masked man fallacy (or paradox) is roughly: Premise 1: I don't know who the man wearing the mask is. Premise 2: The man wearing the mask is my father. Premise 3: I know who my father is. ...
Benjamin Grange's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
101 views

What is the formal name of this logical fallacy?

The fallacy goes like this. The drunkard drinks a bottle of tequila with ice on Monday and gets drunk. The drunkard drinks a bottle of vodka with ice on Tuesday and gets drunk. The drunkard drinks a ...
Fomalhaut's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
40 views

Name for the fallacy where a person claims that bias always proves the opposite?

I'm unsure how to word this as usual. An example of what I'm talking about would be: X claims that the dicerolls in a video game are biased. Y claims it only appears so because of negativity bias, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
121 views

Does philosophy suffer from an ad populum bias?

It seems to me that positions in philosophy are taken more seriously depending on how many people believe in them. For example, someone who believes in a monotheistic God is taken a bit more seriously ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
12 votes
15 answers
5k views

The implication if we discovered that natural abiogenesis is statistically nearly impossible

If we were to discover somehow that (sentient) life was so unlikely that it were almost impossible that it forms even once in the whole universe, does that imply anything about creation e.g.? My logic ...
Doot's user avatar
  • 237
16 votes
12 answers
2k views

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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9 votes
11 answers
3k views

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
145 views

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 vote
1 answer
60 views

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
10 answers
10k views

Is the “no true Scotsman'” fallacy actually a fallacy?

I have trouble with many so-called 'fallacies', and the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy is no exception. Let me quote a famous line from Game of Thrones: Any man who must say "I am the King" is ...
gaazkam's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
34 views

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
142 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
114 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
116 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
748 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
  • 161
12 votes
19 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
122 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
  • 321
8 votes
7 answers
1k 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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1 vote
3 answers
81 views

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. ...
Hudjefa's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
219 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
111 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
203 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
148 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
164 views

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
164 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) ...
user avatar
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
537 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 [🍏 ] ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
92 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
  • 147
1 vote
1 answer
119 views

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
997 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
  • 471
0 votes
4 answers
729 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
203 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
100 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
  • 201
1 vote
1 answer
151 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
112 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
112 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
120 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
  • 1,391
4 votes
2 answers
83 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
54 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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