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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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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 ...
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What is the name for X is too hard / hopeless to practically implement,. Therefore abandon X

I come across that kind of argument sometimes, and I would like to know if it has a registered "type of argument" or maybe "fallacy" name in the philosophical literature. The argument runs something ...
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What fallacy?: Saying Product X doesn't contain suspect chemical exploits people's paranoia

Imagine a corporation that produces a chemical called EatIt that hasn't been thoroughly tested. It is widely known that EatIt is hazardous to humans and the environment, though the government does ...
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Multi Step Argument help!

I need help with this passage please Does the past exist? No. Does the future exist? No. Then only the present exists. Yes, But within the present there is no lapse of time? Quite so. Then time does ...
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Which fallacy is involved in Y2K denial?

Many people claim that the millenium bug (Y2K)was an unnecessary panic. The argument goes: "On Jan 2000, there were only a few problems attributable to the Y2K problem. Therefore the effort used to ...
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Name for the logical fallacy of asking for unreasonable amount of sources?

The fallacy is when someone demands either an impossible source or their criteria for accepting a source as believable is impossible to meet. Example: "Driving stoned is dangerous and you should ...
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What is, and isn't the appeal to emotion logical fallacy?

What is, and isn't the appeal to emotion logical fallacy? I was practicing with my friend identifying what statements are logical fallacies, in a ridiculous manner. My friend made this statement "It ...
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Need help in knowing what fallacy my statement undergoes

What's the fallacy in this statement- Since books are Intelligently designed and Complicated, therefore it has a Creator. DNA is Intelligently designed and Complicated, therefore it has a creator.
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What is the name of this fallacy? (not A imples the value of B is unknown, therefore A)

Does the following fallacy have a name? If A were not true then it would be impossible to determine whether B is true or not, therefore A is true. It sounds like a pretty silly argument when ...
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Continuum Fallacy with regards to arbitrary categories

Is it a continuum fallacy to say that categories don't actually exist because most things exists in a continuum? (if at all) When talking about "human life", it is clear to me that a bunch of cells ...
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Can an opinion without experience have as much merit as one with experience?

I've been wondering this on and off for a while now: Can an opinion without experience be as valuable as one with experience? Assuming there are underlying universals which both parties have ...
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Does fear of cameras imply guilty mind?

People who appear to be doing something wrong usually do not want to be recorded in a public space. There are other people who also don’t like to be recorded citing privacy reasons but, if asked, they ...
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Does anyone know of a philosophy which rectifies or considers the following question?

Let's imagine that I began to doubt the validity of one of my arguments, which leads me to question my ability to make rational arguments. And so begin to distrust my intuitive ideas about logic, then ...
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Logical fallacy: when you know the outcome, so you cannot see any other possible ex ante prediction

Is there a term for this type of logical fallacy? One person asserts that theory A would predict outcome X. We have observed, however, that outcome Y occurred and not outcome X. The first person ...
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Is saying “There would be no rich without the poor” a false dichotomy?

It seems that a lot of people try to conclude the "inevitable truth" from this argument, as if there would not be a chance for being rich without poverty. With rich and poor I'm referring to a persons ...
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Is this “If nobody did it” a fallacy?

In the context of eating meat, the argument against seems quite compelling from the viewpoint of the individual's action. I.e, would you kill a cow? If I state, that if nobody ate cows, the cow ...
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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 ...
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Fallacy of denying the antecedent

Would this be "Fallacy of denying the antecedent or Fallacy of affirming the consequent?" The police profile said' the rapist is a white male, 25-35, and aggressive,' Jack is white, 30 years old, and ...
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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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What's the name of the fallacy when you use a worst situation to ignore the current? [duplicate]

For example, I'm hungry, but the Africa kids are much more (so I should not care about my hungry).
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Is “You are an X, therefore you should know Y” a logical fallacy ?

Person A: I wonder how to say "wheelbarrow" in French. Person B: C has a degree in French, so he should know. Person C: I have actually not paid that much attention to French, so I'm not ...
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What kind of logical fallacy is this? [duplicate]

I was having a discussion with a friend who proposed the question of "who has killed the most people, directly or indirectly?". She argued that it would be Karl Benz (inventor of the motor vehicle) ...
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Is every fallacy non-sequitur?

Simple question. Is every fallacy a non-sequitur at its most fundamental basic? For example, take a strawman argument. Here, one attacks a misrepresentation of somebody else's argument. But, ...
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Why do otherwise smart people commit obvious fallacies? [closed]

Is it a mistake on their part, or is it part of a rhetorical strategy to convince more people, hoping that they don't realize a fallacy has been committed? In particular many theists and atheists who ...
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A fallacious argument by the consequentialist, true or false?

A consequentialist asks give me an example of an action which is obviously good regardless of its consequences. You provide such an example (easily done). The consequentialist then argues that ...
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Is it true that politicizing mass shootings = appeal to emotion? [closed]

I've been hearing this a lot lately, that people who talk about gun control post a mass-shooting are "appealing to emotion", which is a fallacy. Is this true? I am not convinced by this argument, ...
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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 ...
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Reverse Conclusion of Hypothetical Syllogism

I am presented with an argument of form: If p, then q. If q, then r. Therefore, if r, then p. Does this structure have a specific title? I know that it is invalid, and am assuming that "reverse ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Any fallacy in “No one else has come up with a better explanation, therefore my explanation is true”? [duplicate]

Is there any fallacy in the following sentence? "No one else can come up with a better explanation, therefore my explanation is true" Or perhaps another version: "You cannot come up with an ...
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logical fallacy: X is not wrong, if you have done X

My friend on facebook posted this statement: 'Looting is wrong' say citizens living on stolen land, built by stolen labour, powered by stolen resources from poor countries. So it sounds like ...
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What is the fallacy involved when exempting oneself from the burden of reasoning or proof?

What would be (the closest) logical fallacy when one demands that their proposition be accepted axiomatically and exempts oneself from providing a reasonable argument or empirical evidence? E.g. "The ...
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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 ...
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Is this Argument from analogy valid?

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day, and his way of arguing struck me as rather weird. He would constantly say things like: Well that's just like this other thing (which I already ...
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Real World Example to break the logic of this Syllogism

I saw an example in a book talking about this setup: All 'P' are 'Q' All 'R' are 'P' All 'R' are 'Q' I am wondering if there are any real-life examples where the premises are true, but the ...
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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 ...
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Is this a logical fallacy?: X is good, X & Y is very bad, hence X is bad [closed]

This is an argument that shows up a lot. An action X, which is actually good, is deemed to be bad, because if X was coupled with something else, Y, then things would be very bad. Hence, since X gets ...
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Is “peer-reviewed” a distinctive characteristic of high-quality research or not?

"Many matters in academia, such as who gets funding, what gets published and who gets employed are settled by a relatively small group of people." (Lucas: "Legitimacy of peer review" ) Often we hear "...
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Are there terms for being “inside” vs “outside” an argument?

Say that Jim successfully argues that A implies B. He then establishes that A is true, and therefore B is true. Then say that Bob comes along and says, "Well, what about K?" Meaning, that he believes ...
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Robert E. Lee vs George Washington - What kind of fallacy?

As much as I hate Donald Trump, I was elated when he compared George Washington to Robert E. Lee. How would the corporate media respond? "It's a ridiculous conflation," said Professor Alice Fahs of ...
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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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What fallacy is “Lots of things cause bad thing X, so there is no point in not doing Y to prevent X”?

Paraphrasing from a real conversation: A: Peanut butter causes cancer. So you should avoid it. B: Pollution also causes cancer. Lots of things cause cancer. We can't avoid them, so there'...
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What is the name of this “can't be done” fallacy?

When someone in the first minute of a debate says: "That's a nice idea, but it simply cannot be done." Is this a fallacy? If so, which one? I think it probably is a fallacy because we should first ...
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Does Nietzsche commit the genetic fallacy?

Why does Nietzsche not commit the genetic fallacy, in his genealogy of morals? There's at least a handful of articles on this, which I didn't yet read; I make here my 1st port of call.
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Name this fallacy: “Your statement A didn't include B, therefore <conclusion about your views on B>”

For example, "When responding to the interviewer's question regarding Kwanza, the senator didn't say anything about Hannuka, therefore he must be an anti-Semite." While Hannuka and Kwanza occur ...
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On Mastering Topics of a Certain Difficulty

I have a simple problem that I and my friend conjured up. Suppose we were given a person, Alice, who claimed that she had demonstrable mastery to some (quantifiable) level L of some subject. Is it ...
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What logical fallacy is the statement that “A good person would do X” as an argument against not doing X?

I am lecturing a class in which a student has asked for my slides in advance. (My main reason for not doing this is to avoid students passively reading the answers to questions that I put to them in ...
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What's the term for claiming someone does something that you do to weaken the power of people's criticism of you doing it?

For example if a politician who's corrupt accuses another one of being corrupt with the intention of making it less likely for people to believe accusations against their corruption.
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Difference between “Base Rate Fallacy” and “Confusion of the Inverse Fallacy”

I am learning about fallacies and came accross the Base Rate Fallacy and the Confusion of the Inverse Fallacy. I can't really distinguish the two. So my question is: are they the same? And if not, ...