# Tag Info

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When a dog wags its tail, the tail exerts a counterforce on the dog which is small compared to the weight of the dog. In this instance it is common to say that the dog wags its tail, meaning that the tail does most of the wagging and the dog's body does very little. If the dog's body weighed the same as the dog's tail, then when the dog flexes its muscles to ...

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I acknowledge the following is not "in universe" with the human intent of the posted question, and so may not be satisfying. But maybe folks here are better than the Tolkien and Star Trek people. (Yes, go ahead and try to explain the truth about Ferengi, for example, being fit INTO the ST milieu, when it turns out they want absolutely nothing but &...

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I don't think there's a fallacy once you rule out the impossible however improbable it is it must be the truth. Modal Logic at its best. Improbable means: "Unlikely".

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tl;dr– From a Bayesian perspective, we can take the Sherlock-Holmes method as being a reasonable approximation so long as inappropriate dismal of initially-improbable possibilities is avoided. This is, when Holmes says that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth , the "whatever remains" ...

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If you read French, may I offer this hilarious excerpt from "Le Péril Bleu" (a 1911 proto-SciFi novel by M. Renard, I have no idea whether it has ever been translated), as an illustration (quick summary at the bottom): Là, Tiburce s’enfonça dans un canapé, croisa les jambes, fixa un coin du plafond, se rongea quelque peu les ongles et débita d’une ...

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As you recognize yourself (and as many commentators repeat), Sherlock's reasoning is valid in principle but inapplicable unless you have actually considered all possibilities. If you haven't, you are effectively making an argument from ignorance (as when you infer to the remaining hypothesis on the basis that you cannot think of a better explanation of the ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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This is closely related to abduction or inference to the best explanation. See the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry.

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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.

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You are quite right! Which is one reason why obsessing over fallacies can be misleading and unhelpful when it comes to assessing arguments. Merely pointing out that an argument has the form of a known fallacy is not a sufficient reason to consider the argument defective. Firstly, a minor point about terminology. You seem to be using the word 'inductive' to ...

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Presenting too many many points in a debate is sophistry, people engage in a debate with a limited amount of time to spend on it. Once a friend sent me a link to "The revelation of the pyramids" it was so full of fallacies that I got exhausted by watching it. No way I would have the time to debunk all that. So depending on the time both parties are ...

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For me this looks like a Argument from fallacy (or called "fallacy fallacy"): It has the general argument form: If P, then Q. P is a fallacious argument. Therefore, Q is false. Thus, it is a special case of denying the antecedent where the antecedent, rather than being a proposition that is false, is an entire argument that is fallacious. A ...

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Taken literally Yoda committing a fallacy is. If you try to do something that you didn't realize is impossible, whether you end up doing or not doing is not up to you and the only way you will find out is trying. For example Hilbert (via his program) tried to establish the consistency of mathematics, but he failed because it is an unattainable goal. This ...

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Often my manager will set a deadline for a project, and ask me if I can finish a project by that date. If I'm pretty sure I can achieve what he asks, I'll tell him "I will" or "I think so." If I think the deadline is completely unrealistic, I'll tell him I can't do it that quickly, and we can discuss changing the timeline (or he needs to ...

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Yoda's point is that like a lot of mental and physical coordination skills, it matters how you think about it. He isn't saying "don't try", he's saying "don't think of it as 'trying'", which is an entirely different statement. It's actually a very common observation when learning new skills. Initially you 'try' to do it, thinking about ...

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It's not a logical statement. It's about that mental processes that go on in your head. Trying is not the goal. If your goal is to try, you won't succeed, because it's easier to just try and then stop. Should you wake up in the morning and say to yourself "Today I am going to try to fix my car"? No! You should say "Today I am going to fix my ...

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IMO The point of this statement is to say that there is no such thing as trying. If you try you are already doing it, and either you may fail or not and you have to live with the consequences. You can not try and if it doesn't work out, you just reset and try again pretending nothing happened, because that attempt is now part of your history. So you only ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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"Do you want criminals running free? That's what you'll get if you get rid of the police". That's not a straw man at all. If someone wants to abolish the police, it's a fair and good criticism. But if someone didn't suggest at all to get rid of the police - say I said "We should stop racists from entering the police force" and you reply &...

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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 "...

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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 ...

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Criticism - Attacking the position of your opponent Straw-man Fallacy - Attacking a position that is similar, but not equal, to the position of your opponent What matters is what other position actually is, not what is being said about it. Take for example the argument "My opponent's position would result in an inability to enforce laws". If the ...

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