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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If I saw UFOs, and I was of sound mind and body, does that give the right to say that it is true? [closed]

Around a year ago I saw some spectacular things in the skies above me, on three separate occasions. I believe I was of sound mind and what I saw really did exist. Given that what I saw was so out-...
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Is accusing an opponent of committing any fallacy a red herring?

Suppose one person in an argument claims that the other has committed a fallacy. Whether or not the accusation is true, the accused is now distracted from the original argument and has to defend ...
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Seeking clarification of how an argument from Aristotle is found fallacious using Frege's quantification tools

G. E. M. Anscombe writes in An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus (page 15-16): Again, the following fallacious piece of reasoning is found in Aristotle: 'All chains of means to ends must ...
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What logical fallacy is “If you don't like it, move!”?

When criticizing government, society or whatever, people often retort, "If you don't like America, why don't you move somewhere else?" What kind of fallacy would this qualify as? At first glance, it ...
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What argument styles have only recently been labelled fallacies?

While reading Douglas Walton's "Historical Origins of Argumentum ad Consequentiam", I realized there is at least one argument style that appears reasonable but which has been labelled as a logical ...
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Is there a logical fallacy for rejecting “A not B, because A precludes B?”

I'm not sure if I'm asking the right question here, but I'm wondering if there is an actual fallacy to describe this situation.
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Is there a concept that relates to the idea of a “snuck premise”?

In this video around 6:00 into it, Charisma on Command channel, "7 Reasons Ben Shapiro Is So Dominant in Debates" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY5t6iUzajk the concept of a "snuck premise" is ...
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What fallacy uses two different standards for comparisons?

I don't know how many Native Americans were killed by the U.S. government and/or citizens, but let's just make up a fictitious number for this question: two million. Next, let's assume the Soviet ...
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Is this an Affirming the Consequent fallacy?

If a Company doctor is competent, then he or she has completed the Company's "Fitness-for-Duty Examiner" certification training. [If P then Q] Company doctors are all Certified Fitness-for-Duty ...
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Is there a name for the fallacy: 1/100 chance == 100 times guaranteed success?

Let's say someone is playing a computer game in which the chance for some item to drop is 1 out of 100 each time he kills a monster. The player concludes that if he kills 100 monsters then it is ...
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Are there fallacies in the gratitude to something horrible and attributing to their current success or self?

In Game of Thrones, at least twice, a character has had gratitude for horrible events in their life because they say it has lead them to meet their soul mate. In one episode Grey Worm, a soldier, ...
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Why do we think objects and beings are real? [closed]

How can we tell if we are real and not a simulation that we perceive to be real. Given we know not what the universe is except what we perceive it to be. What if galaxies are just but other ...
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Logical fallacy — discrediting someone because they do something you agree with [closed]

A friend posted this tweet: The point of the person's tweet seems to be, "Since Trump is thinking the same way that Kaepernick is thinking, and Kaepernick is right, then Trump is wrong." Honestly, ...
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Is anecdotal evidence enough to counter a broad generalization?

Is anecdotal evidence enough to counter a broad generalization? I just had an argument with someone who asked for a scientific study to back up what I was arguing for in order to counter their broad ...
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You disagree with me, therefore you are X. What is the name of this fallacy (manipulative trick)?

Across my life I have encountered this numerous times. One recent example: If you don't think those are a crime, you are not adult enough or logical enough to have a conversation with me. While ...
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Is arguing that one's opponent has “no evidence” an example of some identified logical fallacy?

I sometimes hear someone claim that the person they are arguing with has "no evidence" for whatever they are arguing for. Although I usually dismiss such claims thinking that what "no evidence" means ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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Is there a name for the fallacy where you pretend some universal fact is particular evidence for your claim?

I feel like this fallacy should have a name. Here is the toy example. Alice and Bob have one loaf of bread between them. For some reason only one of them is allowed eat the bread; they cannot share ...
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Irrational statement: If you believe in one ______, you'll probably believe in another

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a fallacy, but it is a form of deception that I've seen before. Imagine a person who doesn't believe in heavenly bodies, other than stars and planets. So he says, ...
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What fallacy falsely assumes knowledge of an unethical act?

(Please note that this question is a hypothetical example with a premise that can't be challenged. When I say this fictitious principal sabotaged a test, and a reporter knowingly lied about it, that's ...
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Is This An Example of the Straw Man Fallacy or Something Else Entirely? If So, What Fallacy Is It?

I am wondering if you can assist me with identifying a certain kind a fallacy? I believe it might be the Straw Man fallacy, but I'm unsure. In this instance, however, an opponent is not attributing ...
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He hasn't found the false positive yet, but he is committing a logical fallacy. What is the fallacy?

I have a co-worker who is trying to tell me that his checksum test between objects is a sufficient test to see if they are the same. I am trying to explain that just because two checksums test the ...
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Fallacy of the arbitrary threshold?

Prejudices and discrimination against a group of people Y by members of another group X are often justified by assertions that members of Y are more likely than members of X to engage in a particular ...
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Is there a fallacy name for when someone keeps claiming you're misinterpreting/misunderstanding them if you find a hole in their logic?

Jordan Peterson does this a lot, as does Donald Trump. Any negative news is slanderous or skewed. Any critic that found something bad about his words misinterpreted it or "didn't get the point." It ...
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Using logic to exaggerate something

I am not sure if this is the best place for this question. Many times people in marketing or good at promoting things (and themselves) use sometimes a subset of similarities between 2 things to make ...
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Is the reiteration rule in formal logic begging the question?

Wikipedia defines "begging the question" as To "beg the question" is to put forward an argument whose validity requires that its own conclusion is true. I assume this is something Aristotle's ...
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How are there at least 2 instances of Post Hoc in “I am opposed to charging tuition. Without tuition-free education, I could never have become mayor”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of the following ...
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Where's the Red Herring in arguing that “I see it as a glass half full rather than as a glass half empty”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 259. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of ...
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Where's the inconsistency: “first, not enough people get their fair share; and second, our society is too materialistic”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 259. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficul-ties in play with each of ...
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How's this Equivocation: IQ tests “measure not intelligence, but only the ability to comprehend and manipulate symbols”?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 259. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of ...
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How are “goals that we think can be achieved by a good-faith effort within the allotted timetables” fallacies of equivocation and creative thinking?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 257. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of ...
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How is this Appeal to Pity fallacious and a Red Herring: Our country should never war, because wars corrupt our troops?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 257. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficulties in play with each of ...
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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 ...
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How is “I am not inconsistent—I am a pragmatist” an appeal to a higher truth?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 257. Exercise 1 Identify the fallacy, rhetorical technique, and potential difficul- ties in play with each of ...
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How does the Fallacy of Red Herring relate to 'the only thing that always sticks to the point is a dead insect on display'?

Capaldi PhD Columbia, Smit PhD Catholic Univ. of Leuven. The Art of Deception (2007). p. 173. Red Herring So far we have discussing refutation of specific charges against your presentation. If you ...
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Is/should “appeal to scientificity” be considered a fallacy?

Is/should "appeal to scientificity" be considered a fallacy? Some examples: -Some economics theory that has no predictive power, even if it might be mathematically correct. -Expecting that ...
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Can inductive arguments be made in first order logic and, if not, why not?

After reading a question by rus9384 Why is faulty generalization called an informal fallacy? I wondered whether induction can be part of any argument in first order logic (FOL). rus9384 symbolized ...
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Is calling an argument a fallacy, or is the notion of informal fallacy, just a method of manipulation?

Indeed, there are ways of thought which are not consistent with logic. I am not talking about such fallacies here. All of formal fallacies, statistical fallacies or fallacies of relevance (e.g. ad ...
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Is calling someone “stupid” always Ad Hominem fallacy?

Well, I was discussing some topic with a really brilliant and gifted PhD. It seems we couldn't understand each other and we strongly disagreed about all our arguments. Even if I still think her ...
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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 ...
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Does the no true Scotsman fallacy apply to anti Stalinist etc. communism?

The internet is awash with claims that anyone arguing that Stalinist Russia / Maoism wasn't communist is committing the no true Scotsman / ad hoc rescue fallacy. However, I suspect that few of its ...
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Is there a name for the idea of inherent bias in an authority figure or expert?

We often appeal to experts and authorities due to the usefulness of their acquired knowledge, and a lot of the time, this is a fairly sensible thing to do. However, very often, I feel like there is a ...
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If something were bad, no consumer in his 80s would be alive… What kind of fallacy is it?

For example: If alcohol were bad, none of those old men in theirs 80s from my village would be healthy. If smoking were bad, my grandfather wouldn't have lived until 94, as he smoked a lot....
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Is it possible when two people in a debate “throwing” “logical fallacy” to each other?

For example, Mr. A says that Mr.B's argument is a logical fallacy. But then Mr.B says to Mr.A "what you say that my argument is a logical fallacy" is a logical fallacy. I'm sorry if this is a stupid ...
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Is the folliowing tu quoque a reasonable argument?

Is the following tu quo que a reasonable argument? Don't be a communist, you saw what happened in Russia Reply: And the slave trade was run by capitalists. I'm not even sure if the reply is true, ...
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Are these examples Affirming the consequent fallacy?

From the internet I saw an example of an Affirming the Consequent fallacy : If it's raining then the streets are wet. The streets are wet. Therefore, it's raining I'm trying to make two examples....
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Is current social consensus a proper justification for the status?

Around 500 years ago it was common to think in Europe that people should only have sex within marriage, now it's not. Common thought is what we may turn to as consensus. 5000 years ago people ...
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How can “who is the creator of god” question make any sense?

Whenever the god as a first cause discussion comes up, somebody posts the rebuttal: "If everything needs a cause, then what is the cause of the creator god?". Let's define the universe as everything ...
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What do you call this fallacy that relies on dubious transitivity?

Is there a formal name for this kind of fallacy that relies on transitivity between parts and whole? Some examples: The government is fundamentally white supremacist. Bernie Sanders supports the ...

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