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Questions tagged [fallacies]

concerns logical fallacies, which are errors in the logic or reasoning of an argument that result in a misconception or presumption

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Is a selfish action that helps others worthy of praise?

TL:DR Is a selfish man who only does stuff for his own benefit, worthy of praise if his actions just so happen to help others? (And am I wrong in assuming someone always attempts to gain something?). ...
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Can these examples alleging the Sunk Cost Fallacy really not be fallacies?

Sunk costs are costs that can not be recovered when new a planning decision is made. Taking them into account is therefore characterized as a fallacy. But are the examples below really fallacies? [ ...
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What fallacy is this?

I am curious about what fallacy the following kind of reasoning represents. Let's say we are questioning if something is true. I would argue that in order for us to question if something is true we ...
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What kind of fallacy is this (resembles false cause)?

An African leader dispatches troops to the border of a neighboring country. A critic who happens to be a white U.S. citizen says, "That man's a militaristic bully!" One of the African leaders' ...
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Is this an example of Undistributed Middle?

Is this an example of Undistributed Middle? John is not a teenager, since all teenagers are impulsive, and John is not impulsive.
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Is this an example of False Cause?

Is this an example of False Cause? When the small boy said his prayers at night, he did not wet the bed. However, he forgot to pray one evening and he wet the bed. This must be the reason why this ...
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1answer
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What is the name of this logical fallacy

What is the name of the fallacy: "If you buy XXX, which is expensive, then you would also buy YYY, because if you spent so much on XXX then you would spend as much on YYY." The fallacy implies that ...
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Is this an example of Denying the Antecedent?

Is this an example of Denying the Antecedent? Harry is not an inexperienced driver, and thus must not be irrational, seeing as all inexperienced drivers are irrational. At first, I thought it was ...
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Must at least one premise be false for an argument to be fallacious? [duplicate]

I understand that an argument is valid but not sound if at least one premise is false. However, must at least one premise be false for an argument to be fallacious?
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Fallacy on invalidation and conclusions

have recently been studying the philosophy of reasoning and have thought of these questions that I am having a bit of trouble answering. If an argument commits a fallacy, it is invalid. That is true, ...
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Does this fallacy have a name?

Consider the following argument for a claim X: Present proof of statement X', which is similar to but different from X (and doesn‘t imply it). Conclude that X holds. Example: Polls show that 80% ...
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1answer
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What were the main sophistical methods according to Plato?

In her paper Modern Moral Philosophy, G. E. M. Anscombe used the phrase "sophistical methods" and "his procedures are certainly sophistical" (page 3 of the linked file). I assume this meant something ...
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What's the fallacy of relevance here?

To know absolutely that there is no God one must have infinite knowledge. But to have infinite knowledge one would have to be God. it is impossible to be God and an atheist at the same time. Atheists ...
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1answer
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Common name of “overgeneralization” logical fallacy

There is a fallacy (I believe) that I see committed often that goes something like this (super contrived example): X does not care if Joe stole Bob's car. X doesn't even know Joe or Bob. Y states ...
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Is it scientific or a logical error to claim something is true because I can't think of another explanation

The situation Let's say, someone is wrong on the internet. She says The forums on that newspaper article is closed. Apparently the newspaper want to suppress public debate. I reply: That's ...
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Does an informal logical fallacy require deception?

Bo Bennett's criteria distinguishing a logical fallacy from a pseudo-logical fallacy has three parts. The third part is: It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult. ...
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What's the fallacy when someone asks a question and then answers it themselves?

Example: "Why didn't you compete in the annual sports event? It was because you knew that you'd lose anyway!" Or, "How did he run that fast? he must've taken steroids" It falls under unwarranted ...
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What kind of fallacious reasoning is “You're not a girl, so you can't understand girls problems” [duplicate]

Today someone told me : "You're not a girl, so you can't understand girls problems". What kind of fallacy/sophism is this ?
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What's the name of the “God creates Evil” fallacy?

I see this fallacy everywhere, from anti-Christians to Socialists/Communists. It goes like this: "if God exists, then why did He make all this Evil?" Another example: "the baker, by baking bread and ...
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Asymmetries in two opposite arguments from ignorance

Joe claims: "There is no proof that unicorns exist, therefore unicorns do not exist". Alice claims: "There is no proof that unicorns do not exist, therefore unicorns exist". Bob claims: "There is no ...
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Is “I cannot imagine a mechanism for X to happen, so X can never happen” a named logical fallacy?

I have encountered this reasoning quite frequently: Somebody posits the hypothesis that an event X can happpen. A recent example I encountered was "vinegar and salt in the boiling water make eggs ...
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What logical fallacy is “If you don't like it, move!”?

When criticizing government, society or whatever, people often retort, "If you don't like America, why don't you move somewhere else?" What kind of fallacy would this qualify as? At first glance, it ...
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What is the utility of the named logical fallacies?

It is popular to provide an argument that one does not like and ask "what is the name of the logical fallacy in this argument." However, given a name for such a fallacy, what value does knowing that ...
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Is wanting certainty a fallacy (or a pseudo fallacy)?

Dcleve wrote the following as an aside in a question about indirect realism: Our WANTING certainty – is irrelevant. Worse, it is an explicit fallacy! I liked that question and up-voted it, but I ...
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Is there a name for the fallacy where you pretend some universal fact is particular evidence for your claim?

I feel like this fallacy should have a name. Here is the toy example. Alice and Bob have one loaf of bread between them. For some reason only one of them is allowed eat the bread; they cannot share ...
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1answer
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Voting for the Lesser of Evils = What cognitive bias or fallacy? [closed]

One could ague that voting for the lesser of evils is nothing more than simple manipulation. The ruling class makes sure there are just two viable political parties, then it recruits a really creepy ...
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What fallacy is this: “The poor worry. The rich don't worry. If you want to be rich, don't worry”

If one were to reason that most poor people worry about money and most UBER-wealthy people don't worry about money, and they want to be UBER-wealthy, than they should simply not worry about money... ...
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What fallacy falsely assumes knowledge of an unethical act?

(Please note that this question is a hypothetical example with a premise that can't be challenged. When I say this fictitious principal sabotaged a test, and a reporter knowingly lied about it, that's ...
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What fallacy is this? “People were wrong before, so they're likely wrong now too”

What's the name for this logical fallacy: "Research has shown that X." "That doesn't matter. In the past, people were convinced that Y but it was then shown that they were wrong. In a few ...
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What fallacy dismisses criticism of a bad law with “just don't break it”?

Let's say someone is criticizing the government for instituting some draconian policy, and/or for persecuting people for doing something minor. And the response is:"Just don't do it and you'll be fine"...
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If I saw UFOs, and I was of sound mind and body, does that give the right to say that it is true? [closed]

Around a year ago I saw some spectacular things in the skies above me, on three separate occasions. I believe I was of sound mind and what I saw really did exist. Given that what I saw was so out-...
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1answer
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Is accusing an opponent of committing any fallacy a red herring?

Suppose one person in an argument claims that the other has committed a fallacy. Whether or not the accusation is true, the accused is now distracted from the original argument and has to defend ...
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Is argument that two theories are equally valid because I am not an expert “argument ad ignoratum”

I am trying to get to grips with an argument with a friend, whereby he argues that because he does not have the full facts or because one theory is not 100% proven means that both competing theories ...
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Popper vs the Argument from Ignorance

Isn't Popper's epistemology a form of Argument from Ignorance? "We assume it is true if it has not (yet) been falsified." But the fact that it hasn't been falsified doesn't make it true; assuming ...
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Are there fallacies in the gratitude to something horrible and attributing to their current success or self?

In Game of Thrones, at least twice, a character has had gratitude for horrible events in their life because they say it has lead them to meet their soul mate. In one episode Grey Worm, a soldier, ...
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Name for reverse Ad Hominem, (i.e. praising the defense)?

Is there a standard name for a fallacy of the same form as an ad hominem, except that instead of denouncing the opposition, it praises the defense? Typically an ad hominem ("against the man") fallacy ...
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Seeking clarification of how an argument from Aristotle is found fallacious using Frege's quantification tools

G. E. M. Anscombe writes in An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus (page 15-16): Again, the following fallacious piece of reasoning is found in Aristotle: 'All chains of means to ends must ...
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Is this an example of the fallacy of affirming the consequent?

Would this be an example of the "fallacy of affirming the consequent"? If suspect X did the deed, then we would find evidence A, B, C and D. And, yes, look, here is evidence A, B, C and D. So ...
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Which fallacies best describe these situations?

I am not sure which fallacy was committed by each of the two statements below. Many parents today believe that youth of today are very liberal and curious. Even though some of them are Catholics, ...
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What argument styles have only recently been labelled fallacies?

While reading Douglas Walton's "Historical Origins of Argumentum ad Consequentiam", I realized there is at least one argument style that appears reasonable but which has been labelled as a logical ...
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Is there a logical fallacy for rejecting “A not B, because A precludes B?”

I'm not sure if I'm asking the right question here, but I'm wondering if there is an actual fallacy to describe this situation.
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Is there a concept that relates to the idea of a “snuck premise”?

In this video around 6:00 into it, Charisma on Command channel, "7 Reasons Ben Shapiro Is So Dominant in Debates" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY5t6iUzajk the concept of a "snuck premise" is ...
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What fallacy uses two different standards for comparisons?

I don't know how many Native Americans were killed by the U.S. government and/or citizens, but let's just make up a fictitious number for this question: two million. Next, let's assume the Soviet ...
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How is “I am not inconsistent—I am a pragmatist” an appeal to a higher truth?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 257. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficul- ties in play ...
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Where's the Red Herring in arguing that “I see it as a glass half full rather than as a glass half empty”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 259. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with ...
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Is this an Affirming the Consequent fallacy?

If a Company doctor is competent, then he or she has completed the Company's "Fitness-for-Duty Examiner" certification training. [If P then Q] Company doctors are all Certified Fitness-for-Duty ...
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What is the fallacy: “Nothing bad has happened, so nothing bad will happen”

I was talking to a small business owner the other day. When asked why they never incorporated in order to limit their liability, their explanation was, to paraphrase, "nothing bad has happened to us ...
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How's this Equivocation: IQ tests “measure not intelligence, but only the ability to comprehend and manipulate symbols”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 259. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with ...
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How is this Appeal to Pity fallacious and a Red Herring: Our country should never war, because wars corrupt our troops?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 257. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with ...
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How are there at least 2 instances of Post Hoc in “I am opposed to charging tuition. Without tuition-free education, I could never have become mayor”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of the following ...