67

The argument you're trying to formulate (as a rebuttal to Yoda) is this: do successfully IMPLIES try fail to do IMPLIES try THEREFORE (do successfully OR fail to do) IMPLIES try However, this critically misses the point. Your argument is uncontroversial, it matches the way Luke (along with most of the rest of us) sees the world. But the entire purpose of ...


56

There's a fallacy called Holmesian fallacy. A Holmesian fallacy (also Sherlock Holmes fallacy or process of elimination fallacy) is a logical fallacy that occurs when some explanation is believed to be true on the basis that alternate explanations are impossible, yet not all alternate explanations have been ruled out.


41

Holmes' advice is correct if and only if you assume a complete search was done to list all possibilities before starting the elimination process. Note that Sherlock Holmes is both incredibly observant, and incredibly arrogant. I would consider it a matter of great writing for Sherlock to arrogantly assume that his superior observation skills somehow make him ...


39

Its a funny thing. Like David Blomstrom, I don't think this is actually a fallacy. The trick is that, in order to have a logical fallacy, one must have a logical argument. This consists of premises and conclusions. So what are the conclusions? Person 1 - Premise: "The US government engaged in a targeted and precise campaign to destroy Native American ...


33

If somebody said "your argument is simple, therefore it is wrong", that would definitely be a fallacy. But that is not what "your argument is too simplistic" is supposed to mean. Consider the following two exchanges. Wally says "the economy is in recession, so the government are bad at economics". Clive says "that's too ...


25

The rule is more of a practical guide for how to live than a philosophical statement about how truth works. Eccentric: "You should use healing crystals to treat that disease." Doctor: "I doubt that would help. Can you prove that works?" Eccentric: "Can you prove it doesn't?" Doctor: "It would be impossible to prove that. ...


23

This is the complexity bias. See also the conjunction fallacy. It's not necessarily always a fallacy to prefer complicated explanations; someone who studies a subject deeply is likely to produce a more complex explanation when necessary. But as a consequence of that, someone who would like to be seen as an expert, whether or not they are one, is also likely ...


21

This can also be described as the "problem of induction," not that this is an outright fallacy. The most famous example is Hume's observation that just because the sun has risen every day for thousands of years provides us with no deductive proof or certainty that it will rise tomorrow. The example you give is also doubtful in many other ways, ...


17

Shouldn't both sides have to justify their claims instead of one party having to do it? Yes, that's exactly what happens here. For example, Joe claims there's an invisible hippopotamus on Jane's head. Jane claims Joe's assertion shouldn't be accepted and shouldn't have been made because Joe hadn't met his burden of proof here. Jane is doing exactly what you ...


13

Strictly speaking, I'm not sure if any of these qualify as fallacies - a reminder that not all propaganda is fallacious. Native Americans were fighting each other before white people even got here. Humans have been fighting each other from the beginning of time. That's literally true. Whether or not it's justification for European colonization is a matter ...


13

When read as a literal statement, it would be called a fallacy. However, Yoda is not saying that "there is no such thing as trying". Suppose there is a heavy rock in front of you. You can choose to lift it, or not. "I'm going to try to lift it" is more accurately interpreted as "I'm going to undergo actions intended for lifting it, ...


12

You intuition makes some sense, and to clarify burdens of proof you can get some hint from the next paragraph of your same reference: In a debate it is possible that there is a single claim (one party claims there is a chair, while the other party has the position there might or might not be a chair), or that there are multiple claims (one party claims ...


10

The specific (informal) fallacy you're talking about (the one in the question title) is called "hasty generalization". In technical terms, it is inductive reasoning with insufficient evidence. To know whether you are reasoning inductively correctly or falling into the pit of the above mentioned fallacy, inductive logic is helpful.


10

There is no fallacy, there's a misinterpretation of the situation. There are situations where trying and failing isn't particularly bad. There are situations where trying and failing is extremely bad. Say someone points a gun at you and demands your wallet. You can "do" (grab the gun and smack him offer the head with it), good result. You can "...


10

Steve Caballero asking himself "Do or Do not". I always remember this quote when I want to drop in with a skateboard on a very steep ramp (but still much lower than on the above picture). If I merely "try", I can be sure I won't put all my weight into the ramp, and I'll fall backwards and get badly injured. So I either : have to accept ...


10

Deep down, mechanically, it's merely a false dilemma: assert that one of these options must be true and disprove all but one. A traditional false dilemma is an attempt to bully and has only 2 options -- [thing-I-want-to-force-you-to-say] and [thing-you-would-never-choose]. But the "Far-fetched hypothesis" in RationalWiki is a nice example of how it ...


8

Shouldn't both sides have to justify their claims instead of one party having to do it? Any claim - any claim, no matter how you phrase it or what its subject - is subect to a burden of proof. If I claim that the sky is blue, I have a burden to prove that claim. If you claim that the sky is blue and I claim that it isn't, we both have a burden. I don't ...


7

The school board's negative phrasing like "found no evidence" or "hasn't recommended" suggests an intention to pass absence of evidence for evidence of absence. The relationship between the two is complex and sometimes subtle, see When is absence of evidence not evidence of absence? It can be plausible when the evidence should have been ...


7

I think there is a deeper philosophical point here... the nature of "willing" or "attempting" isn't all that clear. What exactly does it mean to "will" my hand to move? It would be clearer if there were two separate entities... 1) the trying to move my hand. 2) the hand moving. But for moving my hand... or for breathing... or ...


7

The burden of proof is not part of logic per se. In the course of any logical work what is proved, is proved; and what is not, is not. This is instead a rhetorical convention in dialectics meant to forestall a common fallacy getting out of hand. By deciding that there is a thing to be proven, and you either succeed or fail at proving it, you clarify ...


6

I would not say this is a fallacy, instead it is, to put in modern terms, a frame challenge. So, the second party in your little scenario is saying: Europeans came to the Americas and raped and plundered their way across several continents —- what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Even if we take it as a given that their behavior was bad, ...


6

As the others have remarked, the counter-arguments you face are factually more or less defendable. Nonetheless, they bother us. Why is that? Because the actual dissent is in what wasn't said. When somebody like you points out the less-than-admirable behavior of the European intruders in the Americas they try to change the prevalent narrative. The typical ...


6

That's not a fallacy at all, but a deductive argument form, aka modus tollens.


6

This is just normal Modus_tollens or called denying the consequent of classic logic of syllogism The form of a modus tollens argument resembles a syllogism, with two premises and a conclusion: If P, then Q. Not Q. Therefore, not P. The first premise is a conditional ("if-then") claim, such as P implies Q. The second premise is an assertion that ...


5

People cite Moore's law as if it's an absolute law of nature, but there is some evidence that it's tailing off. “The last two technology transitions have signaled that our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said during a conference call with analysts https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-DGB-42647 Then there's the ...


5

Short Answer Technically speaking, the intentional use of misleading language is more in the domain of rhetoric than logic and is known as sophistry. A fallacy is generally considered any persuasive argument of bad form. See What is the philosophical term used to describe flawed logic? for more details on what constitutes a fallacy. Long Answer Once one ...


5

The name of this fallacy is a hasty generalization: Hasty generalization is an informal fallacy of faulty generalization, which involves reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence. To answer precisely, the name of this type of fallacy is an informal fallacy.


5

A similar quote is used in a Karate Kid movie. That line was about walking to one side of the road or the other. Don't walk down the middle or get squished like grape. Either commit to learning Karate, or go do something else. Similarly, Yoda is telling Luke to commit to using the force. "I'll try" is often used to set up an expectation of a ...


5

I think another point worth mentioning is that even if Holmes has correctly enumerated all possibilities, he is invoking the Law of the Excluded Middle[1]: Either a proposition is true, or its negation is. More specifically, I'd say he's applying Double Negation[2]: If not (not A), then A. If "A" is the remaining explanation, then by ruling out ...


5

Some of the respondents here are seemingly mis-reading the original question: the given alternative to "the other person has the burden of proof" is not "I must accept what they say without proof", but rather, "each of us has a burden of proof for our respective positions". That of course leaves open another option: that "I ...


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