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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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Does being right negate a straw man in your argument?

It is possible to craft an argument so that it appears to be a straw man in that there is no evidence to back up claims being made and it appears that the reasoning for the argument is being made ...
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Fighting Conspiracy Theory with Conspiracy

People use various tactics to discredit conspiracy theory or conspiracy theorists. One tactic is to ridicule a conspiracy theory proponent as irrational. At first glance, this qualifies as a fallacy ...
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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 ...
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What logical fallacy is “dictatorship of the proletariat” = dictatorship

From Wikipedia: In Marxist sociopolitical thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a state in which the proletariat, or the working class, has control of political power. The term,...
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What is the fallacy called - A occurs because B causes it then if !A means !B?

For example, "You are rich because you are blessed (God blessed you with riches). If you are not rich then you must not be blessed (God chose not to bless you oh ye of little faith)." Second example, ...
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Where's the story with “…not in this generation, no; but in 2 or 3 generations, yes” located?

There's an episode in Plato's writings (I'm not sure) which I can't find and I'd appreciate any help. Socrates (I'm not sure), advances a theory through a fable which is hard to believe. An ...
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542 views

What fallacy is “pot calling the kettle black”?

What fallacy would "pot calling the kettle black" be, or basically discharging criticism at someone who doesn't substantially differ from you, only in a nuance of the same deviation? I can see a form ...
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What is the name of the fallacy that only reasons about an action in itself, outside of its context?

This would cover an argument that ignores the broader implications of an action. General or repeated instances of the action would lead to results different from the user's claim. The argument is ...
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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/...
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In which existing category “the great Beethoven fallacy” falls in?

You may heard of this: If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis; would you recommend ...
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Ad baculum fallacy: is there a distinction between a direct threat and an appeal to an external one?

The example where the employer threatens to fire the employee is very widespread for explaining this fallacy, but this doesn't feel quite right to me. The cases in which the scary factor is ...
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What fallacy dismisses problems by making it specific to the critic?

Occasionally, I write criticisms about some products online and people respond with statements like, "That's just your problem," or questions like, "If you don't like it then why do you use it?" I ...
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De re vs. De dicto

The following excerpt from wikipedia says: In modal logic the distinction between de dicto and de re is one of scope. In de dicto claims, any existential quantifiers are within the scope of the ...
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Is there a term for when the other party switch sides in an argument?

Is there a specific term for this particular situation in an argument: the opposing party change sides to agree with your (initial or not) affirmation while making it seem like this was always their ...
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Fallacy: you cannot criticize Q at time A because you did not criticize Q at time B?

Scenario:political party A is in power currently and previously political party B was in power. Political Party B while in power few years back did something questionable.(misuse of power). I, ...
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1answer
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Identify fallacy and opposing argument - Insiders are biggest security threat, therefore insiders can't be trusted

I'm having practical difficulty in getting work done due to the fact that one contractor is constantly arguing against work being done to allow users the access they need to do their jobs efficiently. ...
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149 views

What type of Logical Fallacy is this?

I've been doing a lot of research lately. A few weeks ago I stumbled across logical fallacies and it opened my eyes to the things I've always known were BS, but I couldn't quite put my finger on. I ...
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Is an argument from ignorance ever valid? [closed]

Is an argument from ignorance ever valid? What about sense perceptions, can I truthfully say that I do not see the elephant in the living room, if I do not know that I am seeing it? What about death?...
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Everyone is biased fallacy

First post. I just have a question about identifying a fallacy. Let's say you are talking to someone who believes the earth is 6,000 years old. You begin to present evidence that suggests the earth ...
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1answer
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Is it a logical fallacy to falsely assume that two subsets of a population, with conflicting viewpoints, have a significant intersection?

The basic template of this argument is as follows: One sample of a population says X. Another sample of the same population says Y. Y conflicts with X. Thus members of this population are ...
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Identifying logical fallacy in argument

A friend challenged me with a statement A1: If there is no Jesus, why are there churches? Which rules of reasoning does it break? Is there a name for statements like that? The presented statement ...
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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 ...
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Logical Fallacy for argument “everybody else is fine with it”

Scenario: Student and teacher discussing a quiz question Student: "I believe the question is inherently flawed because x, y, and z" Teacher: "A majority of students got the question ...
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What is the name of this logical fallacy?

It fallaciously reasons along the lines of "Bigger is always better". Example 1: Eating food makes you satisfied. Person A has eaten more food than Person B, therefore Person A will be "more ...
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Refusing to admit one's mistakes due to certain inherent conditions

Consider the following example: Two students, a native and a non-native English speaker, are given the same, English spelling test. After they are graded, it turns out that the native speaker ...
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What is the name of this logical fallacy involving probabilities of two unrelated events?

I've often heard that you have better chances of winning the lottery than you do where X is some unhappy event. Occasionally, I hear people who have actually experienced X say they should buy a ...
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Someone said argument A, the other heard argument A', is that a fallacy?

Here's a simple dialogue between me and my wife. Wife: why don't you clean the cup after using it? Me: I always clean after me whatever I use. Wife: You're speaking about something else. That wasn'...
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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 ...
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1answer
102 views

Identifying deployed rhetoric instruments [closed]

There is a quote from a TV series, which seems to contain (at least) two rhetoric instruments. Michael Scott: Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate. So he's really not a ...
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2answers
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Is there a name for a fallacy wherein it is assumed either someone is lying or their assertion is true?

I'm hoping to find a name already in somewhat common usage for a fallacy of the following form: A person claimed X. Therefore either X is true or the person is lying. I've seen this fallacy ...
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1answer
325 views

Is an argument that contains a fallacy invalid?

The argument in question is the following: Penguins are black and white Some old tv shows are black and white Therefore, some penguins are old tv shows. I believe this is an example of the ...
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2answers
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I am looking for the name of this paradox (too long to put in title, sorry)

I am looking for the name of the paradox below. I don't know if it is really a fallacy, its just what I'm calling it. I would like to read read more about what people think, but I don't know what it ...
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What fallacy is it to say someone is wrong because they believe [some word defined as being wrong]? [closed]

For example: If someone says some science is wrong because it's "pseudoscience" Or if someone says X doesn't exist because X is "magic," or uses any word that implies their conclusion? So far I've ...
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Does this argument commit fallacy of composition/division or contains a fallacious use of tautology?

I want to know whether the argument commits any of the above mentioned fallacies. The argument might have some other problems and feel free to point them out, but I want to specifically know whether ...
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Is there a name for the fallacy that refuting the argument refutes the conclusion?

Is there a name for the fallacy that refuting an argument refutes the proposition? e.g. there is a belief in X.. somebody provides an argument for X.. or even a bunch of arguments for X. Somebody ...
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Is entropy a circular reasoning concept?

After reviewing several texts about the second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy, from a systemic point of view, it seems to me that entropy is only a circular reasoning concept. ...
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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, ...
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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'...
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The Principle of Explosion v. Reductio ad Absurdum

The proof for the Principle of Explosion starts by assuming a contradiction. When we use reductio ad absurdum, we establish a proof by reaching a contradictory conclusion in sub-argument and then ...
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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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1answer
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What is the name of the fallacy that denies inductive generalization based on emphasizing exceptions?

I am looking for the name of a logical fallacy that denies validity of induction based on an observed and repeated pattern (AKA statistics) by citing exceptions to the pattern which are outliers of ...
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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....
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Having trouble with “Argument From Ignorance” fallacy?

I am having some difficulty understanding the "Argument From Ignorance" Fallacy. I will illustrate my difficulty using "The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection" (T.E.N.S.) as an example: We ...
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(How) did Galileo use the “Galileo argument”?

According to Wikipedia, the "appeal to pity" fallacy (also known as "argumentum ad misericordiam" or the "sob story") is also called "the Galileo argument." Why is that? The linked source ("Appeal to ...
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What is a logical fallacy called which presumes correctness based on status?

A superior says: "all orders of a superior are lawful because they have been given by a superior." But the policy in this instance states, "employees shall promptly obey any lawful order given by a ...
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Logical fallacy related to lengths of time

I'm looking for a logical fallacy related to lengths of time. For example, the claim "When you sign up for cable TV, you pay $60.00 per month. That's like $3,600 every five years! What a rip off." ...
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Is there an Informal Fallacy for misusing/overidentifying Informal Fallacies in an argument?

I frequently find myself reading discussions where people use Informal Fallacies as if they are invincible battering rams that destroy any argument they encounter. For example, somebody might say "...
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Name of fallacy of confusing technical term with its everyday meaning?

A classic example is someone saying, "Gravity is only a theory." In this case they are committing a logical fallacy by conflating the everyday meaning of theory with the way the word is used in formal ...
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Ethical evaluation of means used for wealth redistribution

I recently had a discussion with a friend. The topic was the (re)destribution of wealth in society, which is divided by money in privileged and unprivileged. My problem was that his end was noble, ...
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What is the fallacy where you treat one side of the argument unfairly?

I'm reading "Why not Capitalism?" by and "Why not Socialism?", two books written in response to each other arguing the merits of each economic system respectively. Each book argues that given an ...