Questions tagged [fallacies]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
21
votes
2answers
21k views

What fallacy dismisses problems by presenting "bigger" problems?

Wasn't really sure how to phrase this, but I'm thinking of an instance in which someone diminishes a problem by presenting one of larger scope - as a rather shoddy example, "x political problem in ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Are "if smoke then fire" arguments deductive or inductive?

I'm new to philosophy and have a question regarding deductive vs. inductive reasoning: I'm told that "John ate a strange plant in the forest and got sick. Clearly, the plant made John sick." I ...
7
votes
6answers
877 views

Is it a logical flaw to blame someone for an event if they were simply its causal factor?

I would ask if this is a logical fallacy, but I don't think you can consider wrongful attribution of blame to be a logical fallacy, because attributing blame is a normative claim, not a descriptive ...
3
votes
6answers
765 views

Is the use of inconsistent definitions a logical fallacy?

I am not asking for a defense of or pro/con of the existence of an omnipotent (or multiple omni-x) being, or for the existence of square-circles or any other similar thing. These arguments are well ...
6
votes
5answers
902 views

What fallacy dismisses a conclusion because supporters give invalid arguments for it?

A person dismisses an otherwise valid argument, because some of its proponents support it for the wrong reason. How is this fallacy called? EDIT: Here is an example. A person defends the idea that ...
3
votes
1answer
486 views

Is there a suppressed premise in Anselm's Ontological Argument?

Source: 5 minutes 20 seconds juncture; Lecture 1, Video 4 (transcription); MITx: 24.00x Introduction to Philosophy; by MIT Associate Prof Caspar Hare PhD (Princeton) [...] Suppose God existed in ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Is death impossible because it is impossible to be conscious of being unconscious? [closed]

I looked at a site called The Truth Contest which is a compliation of what "The ultimate truth" is. One of the ideas explored is immortality. Here is an excerpt: You are immortal; it is impossible ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why there are so many blunders/fallacies in Plato's Dialogues?

Several recent researchers discuss Plato's fallacies or reasoning flaws in his writings (see list of references). Yet what remains mostly unclear is why there are so many logical errors/fallacies/...
1
vote
3answers
816 views

Deduction vs Induction -- are they equally valid?

I've been reading on deduction vs induction as two primary modes of reasoning. Can't exactly remember where but I have also seen deduction being described as backward and induction as forward thinking....
5
votes
12answers
6k views

Innocent until proven guilty - why?

What is the philosophical basis for the notion that somebody is "innocent until proven guilty"? This seems to imply that we can confidently assert that a person is innocent until proof to the ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What fallacy argues that we should do nothing because we can not do everything?

A says to B "we should recycle because it is better for the environment," and person B says "if we wanted to be better environmentally, there's lots of things we could do that we don't, so we shouldn'...
0
votes
2answers
268 views

'I flunked every thing, but you have to let me pass.' How is this an Appeal to Pity?

[Source:] I know I flunked every exam, but if I don't pass this course, I'll have to retake it in summer school. You have to let me pass! Why is this a fallacy? I agree that the speaker desires ...
38
votes
13answers
16k views

Is circular reasoning always a fallacy?

Suppose the following dialogue: ... "I accept only one notion of land property. Namely, 'I am doing my stuff here, therefore I am here". "But this means," he responded, "you ...
28
votes
10answers
8k views

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 ...
23
votes
10answers
5k views

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

A common argument in today's news is that: Someone commits a heinous crime by shooting a bunch of people. Anyone who commits a heinous crime must be insane. Sane people cannot apply rational thought ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

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"...
3
votes
5answers
996 views

Is there a logical fallacy to describe the complete dismissal of the value of scientific consensus?

I was arguing with a climate change denier. He said that appealing to a scientific consensus, even one as overwhelming as 97%, is fundamentally an appeal to authority fallacy and hence invalid. He ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Is "you're part of the problem" a logical fallacy?

I've heard many people say if you X, then you're part of the problem. I'm not a logic or philosophy expert so I was wondering if this is a logical fallacy (or something along those lines)? If so, what ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How fallacious is tu quoque or look-who's-talking fallacy?

It is a very common fallacy that I've seen in many circles - In the world of media and in everyday life. In some cases it doesn't feel like a fallacy, but seems to make a point in that particular ...
1
vote
4answers
191 views

How is this specific type of argumentation called, is it a fallacy?

I often encounter this type of argumentation in discussions about scientific discoveries with layman. For example when discussing GMO (genetically modified organisms) an argument that is often made is ...
4
votes
1answer
463 views

name this fallacy: A was P in the past -> A must be P now

I've been seeing arguments of this form for awhile: (agreed true premise) Some predicate P was applicable to behavior/event/thing A in the past. Variations: P(A) may have been true at some particular ...
4
votes
4answers
346 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

Is a barber a barber if he doesn't get paid?

For reference: The Barber Paradox. The Barber is he who shaves all those, and only those, who doesn't shave themselves. Now the question is: Who shaves the Barber? The paradox being that if the ...
1
vote
4answers
343 views

What is the fallacy that privileges one person over another?

I see this a lot, someone in a category of people attempts to shut down anyone with an opinion that is not from the same category. For example, people without children weighing in on parenting; the ...
-1
votes
1answer
307 views

Which Informal Fallacy(ies)? 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.'

Source: p 130-131, With Good Reason, An Introduction to Informal Fallacies (2000 6 ed) by York U. Prof. S. Morris Engel. [p 130 :] Identify the fallacy of ambiguity — equivocation, amphiboly, ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Do "if everybody did it" arguments commit a fallacy?

Who is committing a fallacy in this discussion, and what kind of fallacy is it? A: There's nothing wrong with killing people at random B: If everybody did it, you would too most likely be a random ...
27
votes
8answers
10k views

If the Bible contains circular reasoning, does it discredit it?

If the Bible contains circular reasoning, does it discredit it? One of the reasons why I wonder about this is because in most academic/professional fields circular reasoning would discredit the ...
18
votes
10answers
7k views

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. The person who proposed a number is not remotely available to disclose about number system. e.g. ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

Does the Fallacy Fallacy make logic useless?

I should note that I'm not a formal student of philosophy and haven't studied it in any serious depth. I just like logic, and logical fallacies. I like to spot them, and I like to debate using them, ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

What point is Richard Dawkins trying to make here? Is it a fallacy?

Richard Dawkins said It is often said, mainly by the 'no-contests', that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best ...
4
votes
1answer
305 views

Fallacies Matched to Cognitive Biases

I'm struck by the similarity between fallacies and cognitive biases. For example, there's a bandwagon bias and a bandwagon fallacy. Can anyone tell me if anyone has created a chart or system that ...
29
votes
5answers
8k views

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 ...
16
votes
7answers
7k views

What's the name of the logical fallacy where a debater extends a statement far beyond the original statement to make it true?

Suppose that someone initially states that "fossil fuel consumption due to mobile phone usage is similar to that of private transportation, so if you think we should switch to electric/bike to fight ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the difference between a formal fallacy and an informal fallacy?

I am trying to find a clear definition of a formal fallacy and an informal fallacy. Wikipedia gives the following definition: Informal fallacies – arguments that are fallacious for reasons other ...
8
votes
6answers
463 views

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Can an argument be formally valid with sound premises and still be informally fallacious?

Consider the following two assumptions: Validity Assumption: Assume an argument is valid. It follows all the formal logical rules of inference. The inference contains no formal logical fallacy. ...
6
votes
2answers
754 views

Is the argument 'you cannot claim that "God doesn't exist" because you cannot demonstrate this inexistence' an argumentum ad ignorantiam?

I'm able to tell this is an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam, "I can't prove the existence of god, therefore, god doesn't exist." But what about the sentence "One should never claim that "God ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it an informal fallacy to call an argument ridiculous without pointing out the flaw?

I think it is one kind of informal fallacy to dismiss a logical argument by just calling it ridiculous without actually showing how the argument is invalid. At first, I thought it to be ad hominem as ...
4
votes
3answers
226 views

Name of fallacy when one says he used to have the same views

I was arguing with a friend (we were at loggerheads with respect to our views) and in the middle of the argument he refuted my claims by saying that even he used to have the same views (as I do now) a ...
3
votes
5answers
10k views

How does one differentiate between premise and proposition?

I find it difficult to differentiate between premises and propositions. Given these statements: "If men evolved from apes then there wouldn't be any ape nowadays." "There are apes ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

Why is faulty generalization called an informal fallacy?

According to wikipedia faulty generalization belongs to the class of informal fallacies. Also, a fallacy is called informal if it originates in a reasoning error other than a flaw in the logical ...
2
votes
1answer
295 views

If metaphysical grounding of beliefs is not necessary what is to logically compel one to believe anything?

'Grounding' is the notion that 'because of X, Y', X being the reason one can accept Y beyond pragmatic considerations. In this way, X and Y are analogous to cause and effect respectively. If it is ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Not the Texas sharpshooter fallacy?

I am writing a publication in which I mention the fallacy of of first executing a method and then claiming the results are what was aimed for (regardless of the results). This sounds very much like ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

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 ?
0
votes
2answers
158 views

Philanthropy Fallacy [closed]

NOTE: After doing more extensive research, I've edited both my question and answer. Imagine a situation where an evil person does an evil deed. I don't want to get distracted with a strawman ...
-2
votes
1answer
132 views

To what extent are the concerns of philosophy divorced from those of real life? [closed]

There's a thread that asks whether the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is a valid argument. I'd like to have answered it, but couldn't because I don't have enough mojo here. Yet ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is an 'argumentum ad lapidem'? [closed]

I've seen philosophical arguments descriped as 'argumentum ad lapidem', but never quite understood what the criticism is trying to indicate. As best I can tell, it's a dismissal of an argument with ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Inadequately small sample fallacy

I am almost sure there is a name for the fallacy whereby its exponent tries to apply a very small sample of observation, usually anecdotal evidence, as representative of the population, of which that ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What fallacy infers motivation from mere description?

Here's some example: "Men dominate women in the majority of fortune top 100 CEO positions" "Women dominate men in primary school teaching jobs" Neither the men nor the women are actually purposely ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it possible to appeal to emotion without commiting a fallacy?

People often make arguments from authority, and not all of them are fallacious. If the given authority is an expert on the discussed field, if there is a consensus among the experts of that field, and ...