Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [fallacies]

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

14
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
464 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
594 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
348 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
423 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
688 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
454 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....
6
votes
1answer
1k 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/...
7
votes
5answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Complete list of logical fallacies [closed]

I have done some reading around philosophy SO and found a lot of known logical 'fallacies'. I have noticed them being used by quite a few individuals around me. I am looking to get as complete as ...
25
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
2k 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"...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
676 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
267 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
219 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
169 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, ...
17
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
774 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
325 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
626 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
192 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
1k 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
123 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
9
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
592 views

Does the fallacy in “it's true because I would like it to be true” have a name?

Intuitively (dare I say logically), this concept appears to be a logical fallacy. Is it actually a "formal" fallacy and does it have a name? Reincarnation must be true because I wouldn't want to ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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'...
3
votes
4answers
151 views

Is there a logical fallacy that considers a position false because a non-authority agrees with it?

This seems similar to Argument from authority but is an "opposite" in the sense that an argument is discredited because it comes from a non-authority on a subject. To give you an example this video ...
3
votes
4answers
339 views

Slippery slope fallacy, clarification on its correct use

I was having a discussion with some friends about Charlottesville, (BTW We're from and live in Ireland) My friend was supporting the idea of physically assaulting Neo Nazi's. My argument was number ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

What is the fallacy in deriving necessity of an event from God's foreknowledge of it?

Here is the form: If God knows I will eat lentils tonight, then necessarily I will eat lentils tonight God knows I will eat lentils tonight Therefore, necessarily I will eat lentils tonight. Now, ...
2
votes
3answers
619 views

How is 'Argumentum Ad Hominem Abusive' fallacious?

Source: p 131, A Concise Introduction to Logic (12 Ed, 2014) by Patrick J. Hurley The argument against the person occurs in three forms: the ad hominem abusive, the ad hominem circumstantial, and ...
2
votes
6answers
659 views

Cherry Picking Fallacy (In a Social Media Debate) [closed]

CONTEXT Hello, I'm an engineer with some introductory level studies in philosophy. I need help (or at least a sanity check) from this group in an argument about cherry picking. I'm having an argument ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Is it philosophically tenable to refuse a universal moral system?

Recently, I advocated utilitarianism based on consciousness on Change my View subreddit and I was quite suprised by the opposition against the bare idea of a universal moral system. From my limited ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Logically valid but fallacious?

BUT informal fallacies are not limited to problematic arguments but also to problematic techniques in many contexts of rhetoric and argumentation. Thus, it need not be logically invalid to be ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Fallacy?: “Wyoming - It's like no place on Earth”

Wyoming once adopted the slogan "Wyoming - Like no place on Earth." It wasn't terribly popular and was soon scrapped. Some people joked, "If it isn't like any place on Earth, then exactly WEHRE is ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Is there a name for the fallacy to appeal to connotation of an ambiguous term?

Consider the following argument We all agree that sexism is bad. Sexism is the discrimination based on sex or gender. Discrimination is 1) the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of ...
1
vote
3answers
174 views

Is there a word for a fallacy made by a listener instead of a speaker?

I've been thinking about misunderstandings that occur when people have philosophical discussions. Often somebody can make an entirely cogent argument, but then the other person misunderstands what has ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What is the best way to learn logical fallacies? [closed]

I want to learn logic better, I know a few fallacies but I've read no books mostly just stuff on the Internet. I see them everywhere, but sometimes I don't know what the fallacy is called. I am a ...
1
vote
4answers
145 views

Tu quoque and scientific anti-philosophy [closed]

Unless I misunderstood this recent thread, the scientifically minded can legitimately only believe in science (not philosophy), and what is "robust and reliable", it's just that they don't prove it's "...
1
vote
3answers
171 views

Fallacy: shifting the point of the conversation

A: "Biologically men and women are different, and therefore it shouldn't surprise they have different salary on average". B: "That is obvious. But you cannot derive from such a difference in terms of ...
-3
votes
3answers
715 views

At which point is an insult no longer ad hominem?

During an argument with some people, I come to the conclusion that they are either stupid, ignorant or liars. Let's imagine that we have 2 guys discussing what color they should be painting a room. ...