Questions tagged [fallacies]

concerns logical fallacies, which are errors in the logic or reasoning of an argument that result in a misconception or presumption. The fallacies tag is also appropriate for analysis of tactics that may be applied deliberately to deceive. For example, if tactical omissions in an argument motivate a member of the audience to try to fill in omitted elements, then this can be portrayed as a straw man attack against the creator of the argument.

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Is there a word for the type of rhetorical strategy where you distract from the point in order to seem authoritative?

Is there a word for distracting someone from the topic of the argument, and using the authority they have established in the mean time to (fallaciously) prove their original point? An example I ...
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Experiencing and sensing time dilation when a person dies and the logic of

It is well known that when a person goes to sleep, there are instances when we do not experience time which has phenomenological implications. There is a temporal discontinuity. It is also known that ...
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264 views

What is the Texas sharpshooter fallacy?

Please note in the comments if the question is too long and should be rephrased more concise. I am happy to do so if so wished. The story: The name comes from a joke about a Texan who fires some ...
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Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things?

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things? And is there a name for this concept? Is it some sort of fallacy to appeal to percentages? ...
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Names for most popular taxonomies of informal fallacies?

Informal fallacies are not formal, so as might be expected, there exists no prevailing standard taxonomy. Various books on logic and logical fallacies organize fallacies differently, (see chapter ...
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155 views

Why is it an Appeal to Pity if a defense attorney evidences misfortune of the defendant?

Source: p 236-237, With Good Reason, An Introduction to Informal Fallacies (2000 6 ed) by York U. Prof. S. Morris Engel   The trouble with such appeals [to Pity] is that, however are, they may ...
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Is the DREAM controversy an example of the logical fallacy of personal incredulity?

There's this Minecraft speed-runner called Dream who has been accused of cheating due to his drop luck. A moderator team has calculated that the p-value of the chance you'd get the same drops as Dream ...
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80 views

Name for a logical fallacy: confusing measures in argumentation

I have encountered a line of reasoning in my research which seems to be fallacious. An example is if you wanted to know something about the general health of an individual, you could measure many ...
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Looking for pseudo-fallacy list or reference

In studying fallacies, one comes across an endless variety of "things" that appear to be fallacious but aren't really fallacies at all. Many of them have names, though I'm not sure if there'...
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54 views

What is the name of this fallacy (if it is one)

So I stumbled on a discussion that went a little like this: Person A: "Something has happened to a family member and has been hospitalized, please be aware so it does not happen to you" ...
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70 views

Name of fallacious reasoning about the reality of abstractions

There is a kind of reasoning that is often heard, where the irreality of some abstraction is inferred from the fact that entities that fall under it are not perfectly homogenous. (1) A lot of times ...
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228 views

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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127 views

Winning Percentage Fallacy

Consider a combat tournament with a large number (sufficiently large that small sample size is not a problem) of combatants, in which each match is zero-sum and has a winner (there are no ties). The ...
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375 views

How to self-learn legal arguments, logic, and reasoning?

What are some readable, eloquent (without legalese) books on arguments, fallacies, logic, and reasoning, as applied and used in law? This question is aimed towards a greenhorn/tenderfoot with ...
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Is there a fallacy of composition in this argument?

This is an argument from an LSAT, where the question is about finding flaw(s) in the argument: HomeGlo Paints, Inc, has won the prestigious Gloden Paintbrush Award--given to the one paint ...
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39 views

“You're not X, but… that says a lot”. Is this a fallacy?

I've seen this happen quite a lot in arguments about sensitive topics, such as racism, sexism or homophobia. When presenting a potentially controversial stance, someone might cushion the blow by ...
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62 views

How are objective probabilites and statistics (frequency in the world) of groups related to individual cases?

I'm a bit confused about why frequentist measures of probability based on groups are relevant to individual cases. It seems that moving from the group to the individual is somehow a violation of the ...
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On questions such as “How do you know that X doesn't work? Have you tried it all possible ways?”

I often find people using questions similar to the following one: How do you know there isn't a god? Have you looked everywhere? As the answer to the second question is obviously "no", ...
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Is there a name for this variation of poisoning the well?

Poisoning the well refers to the practice of presenting embarrassing information about an opponent, discrediting the opponent and, by extension, discrediting their message as well. Is there a name for ...
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158 views

Baconian Logical Fallacy

I have been reading about logical fallacies lately, and I saw the Baconian fallacy listed here (of course on everyone's favorite site, Wikipedia). The description provided reads: "using pieces of ...
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Play by these rules, however broken, or create new ones

Example, A: The rules are unfair, you see, only privileged few are getting the benefit. B: I don't see anything wrong with that. Either create new rules, or hustle through these and be like them. What ...
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53 views

Help with Circular Reasoning example and whether this example is fallacious

I thought of a scenario that raised some question for me, consider you: [A] Face prejudice because of X --> [B] Makes you more inclined to assume the next person who mistreats you is doing so ...
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58 views

Semantic dichotomy could validate denying antecedent?

We imagine a controversial political situation. If the politician resigns from office (A), then they are doing the right thing (B)." The politician does not resign from office (-A), therefore they ...
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Is the “false cause defense” really flawed reasoning?

Is the "false cause defense" really flawed reasoning? For example: When it comes to large sums of money, a huge amount can cause any person to do things (including illegal acts) they would never do. ...
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Is this an ad hoc rescue, a red herring, or jumping back and forth between two different arguments?

A man owns two male pit bulls that have not been neutered. He tells a friend that he intends on leaving them unattended in his fenced in back yard while he is at work. His friend says "Wouldn't you ...
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414 views

Opposite of victim blaming?

If victim blaming is the fallacy of automatically assigning fault to the victim ("it's her fault because she was dressed that way"), what is the fallacy of exonerating a person simply by virtue of ...
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52 views

Is Aristotle's fallacy actually a fallacy?

In Indian syllabi, students of Physics are told that Aristotle wrongly believed that an external force was required to keep a body in motion. However, based on the little I've read on Aristotelian ...
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What is the name of the fallacy where acknowledging an issue is confused with actually addressing the issue?

A few days ago an artist came to present his work to our class. At the beginning of his presentation he said "I know cultural appropriation is a very loaded topic, and it occupies my mind often" as ...
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188 views

How is “pointing out whataboutism” a form of tu quoque fallacy?

In the Wikipedia article, whataboutism is defined as a tu quoque fallacy, yet later on it is said that the accusation itself is a form of tu quoque fallacy. How so? Christian Christensen, Professor ...
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Why do there exist “logical fallacies” that are not really consistent logical fallacies?

Why do there exist "logical fallacies" that are not really consistent logical fallacies? By logical fallacy, consider e.g. ad hominem. By consistent logical fallacy I refer to a type of logical ...
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112 views

Logical Fallacy: Comparing Conspiracy to Scientific Experiment

Imagine the following argument: Yes, there are plenty of coincidences and unexplained phenomena associated with this particular event that some might see as evidence of a conspiracy. But the same ...
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Which Informal Fallacy(ies)? “That means now and forever, because I am a Yankee, and Yankees do not throw rocks.”

Source: pp 253, 258. With Good Reason, An Introduction to Informal Fallacies (2000 6 ed) by York U. Prof. S. Morris Engel. [p 253 :] Identify the fallacy of relevance—personal attack. mob appeal, ...
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114 views

Avis Rent-a-Car's slogan 'We're #2' : This is an Appeal to Pity?

Source: p 238, With Good Reason, An Introduction to Informal Fallacies (2000 6 ed) by York U. Prof. S. Morris Engel. Disclosure: I do not benefit or gain from, and am in no wise connected to, Avis. ...
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Fallacious Argument Name

Alice does something controversial for a particular reason. Her actions have bad and controversial consequences, but also have an outcome that she did not intend, which nearly everyone finds extremely ...
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What type of logical fallacy happens here?

This has been going on a lot lately in my country. Usually, in a discussion where some antisocial behavior of an organization is being criticized, a supporter of the organization, usually a member of ...
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100 views

Difference between non-sequitur fallacy and post hoc fallacy?

What is the difference between post hoc fallacy and non sequitur fallacy?
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72 views

Is there a fallacy

I want to know if there is a fallacy in this type of conversation. CA=Country A and  HRA=Human Right Association Example: CA: it is now gonna be forbidden in CA for feminist to express their ...
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Is there a term for someone restricting a discussion to a group of people?

Is there a term for when someone in a discussion dismisses or excludes a group of people? I think I've heard a term for "gating" the discussion but I can't find it. For example: "You ...
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Is there a name for when people don't actually “improve” something?

A lot times, though not all, when people do something they feel it is particularly righteous, it is a very shortsighted approach that lacks a more holistic consideration of other variables. Is there a ...