Talk:Argument from fallacy

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This fallacy may be known as something else. I just added it because I have heard it used so many times in discussion groups etc.


I prefer to call it 'Argument from Wikipedia', in which amateur logicians link to the fallacy entries as if that were sufficient to prove someone wrong.

Ha, ha, too right! — Chameleon 12:08, 16 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • And they do prove something wrong: the reasoning behind the argument of their opponent. Isilanes 19:22, 26 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isilanes, you proved that what Chameleon said was an argument from fallacy. -- 200.226.37.26 (talk) 09:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't this entire discussion from "I prefer to call it 'Argument from Wikipedia'" just a series of logic fallacies? First, the comment "argument from Wikipedia" is the most overused and least intelligent of logical fallacies. Another list refers to it as the "name calling" fallacy. Of course, "amateur logicians" follows the same fallacy. Second, the use of a logical fallacy doesn't make the conclusion "wrong", just the argument was meaningless. This would be the "argument from fallacy". This is an interesting point in that the demonstration of the logical fallacy shows that the conclusion hasn't been demonstrated as "right" either It seems that the initial comment rests upon the "false choice", that the argument is either true or false, "as if that were sufficient to prove someone wrong." But there is the concept the non-sequitur. Pure logic would dictate that there are two categories, true and false. Non-sequiters simply leave the realm of logic behind altogether. Pure logic requires that the subjects and arguments can be divided into two distinct sets of true and false. There is also, "not known" and "doesn't apply". All of these seem to be founded in some sort of cognitive bias where underlying motivation is to "win" a predetermined point rather than to demonstrate that the point is true. The arguer sets forth the pretense of playing on the field of logic, exists the playing field to present the argument, then returns to it to assess the counter argument. Of course, my discussion might be classified as "Ad hominem" except that, to classify an argument as being a logical fallacy requires that the playing field be one of logic. Given the playing field has been changed by the initial use of a logical fallacy, the "Tit for tat" game applies, "Chicago Style" being the best refinement of the game. And, of course, this entire discussion, including mine, has absolutely nothing to do with the point of the discussion, which is a form of "red herring". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.81.32.18 (talk) 17:29, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merger Proposal[edit]

The pages Argument from fallacy and Denying the antecedent appear to be describing the same thing (and it seems to be a special case of Non sequitur (logic)). While the description seems like it could be describing very slightly different things (Argument from Fallacy assumes the proof of P is fallacious, whereas Denying the antecedent assumes P itself is false), they do not carry through the difference to the examples. In accordance with WP:Merge After a consensus has formed, or 5 days of silence have passed, I think we should merge the pages. --YbborT 01:59, 25 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I oppose. They are different things. If the examples do not reflect this, the way to go would be to revamp them, not to merge articles that do not mean the same. Besides, I warn you that all fallacies are non sequiturs, just different flavors of them... In the end, all can be traced back to a rephrasing that is a "typical" non sequitur. Isilanes 19:22, 26 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The difference seems to be minor, and if covered in one article, both idea could be addressed. And I agree that they should not be merged with Non Sequitur. --YbborT 19:46, 26 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I do not think it's minor:
— Denying the antecedent: If P then Q; not P; therefore not Q
— Argument from fallacy: Argument A says "if P then Q"; A is fallacious; therefore not Q.
The argument from fallacy is wrong because it concludes "not Q", instead of "not A". The if P then Q is wrong, but truth about Q is not assessed. Recall also that no evaluation of P is done, just of A. The argument from fallacy can be converted into denying the antecedent, just by bypassing P: if A then Q, not A; therefore not Q. But A is an argument, a link between propositions, not a proposition itself. Also "not P" (P is false) is meaningfull, whereas "not A" would actually be better phrased "A is fallacious" (note that false is not the same as fallacious). This difference might be subtle, but I think it makes argument from fallacy worthy enough of a page by itself. Argument from fallacy could be considered a "special case" of a general "denying the antecedent", as reductio ad Hitlerum is a case of ad hominem, or most other fallacies can be classified inside broader classes. Most importantly, I think I can imagine someone looking for the one page, but not the other, so that a merge could potentially harm this people. Don't fix it if it ain't broken, or it will be. Isilanes 11:23, 27 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So many A's, P's and Q's it makes my head hurt! ;)
Ah, thank you for that clarification. I saw Argument from fallacy as claiming the P rests on a fallacy, but is not necessarily wrong. You seem to be saying that in Argument from Fallacy that the connection between P and Q is being attacked. This makes much more sense, and I now agree with you that they should not be merged. The two articles look like they seriously need some work to be encyclopedic however. Since you seem to have a better handle on this maybe you could help make the distinction clearer, and when I get a chance I'll try to do some more basic cleanup. Thanks again for the clarification. I'll take down the merge templates now. --YbborT 01:25, 28 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ginger[edit]

I was thinking about adding a bit more about Ginger, but lacking boldness as well as a proper edumucation in logic, decided to discuss it here first: Wouldn't it be begging the question for our two logicians to discuss whether Ginger is a cat? It may yet remain that Ginger is Tom's wife, or that Ginger doesn't even exist. Or am I completely off my rocker? 64.90.198.6 21:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The question is whether Ginger not being a cat can be concluded from it being a cat being a fallacious argument. The point is that Ginger could be a cat, even if our reasons to reach that conclusion are completely silly. The argument being wrong does not deny the conclusion being possibly correct, just the argument itself not being valid to prove it. Isilanes 14:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thus being a wonderful example of an argument from fallacy. Don't worry about slandering the good name of Ginger, the good folks here at Wikipedia are taking good care of her(it?). V-Man737 07:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I just wanted to add that the line at the end, "For the record, Ginger is a gerbil," makes me smile. Whoever added it is awesome.
You'll find the first instance of that edit here and the anon editor's talk page here (in case you want to thank them personally). V-Man737 06:34, 17 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I too would like to add my support for the gerbil line. I hope no stuffy Wikipedian removes it as "vandalism". MQDuck 09:53, 17 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "Wouldn't it be begging the question for our two logicians to discuss whether Ginger is a cat? " -- Merely discussing something cannot be a fallacy. "Or am I completely off my rocker?" -- in effect. -- 96.248.226.133 (talk) 04:18, 7 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Law of gravity proven, and causative??[edit]

The pencil will still fall due to the law of gravity, which has been extensively proven.

Twofold problem here, I think. Especially when writing in an article on logic, it seems inappropriate to refer to the law of gravity as "extensively proven," since it hasn't been proven in the rigorous deductive sense. It's "merely" been proven to accurately predict what will happen time and again in the past, and seems likely to predict what will happen at any time in the future. And since it only predicts and describes, it can't be said that the fall is "due to the law of gravity," although "due to gravity" would be quite acceptable (but then the "which has been extensively proven" clause would be a non sequitur, in the colloquial sense).

I'd patch it up myself, but I don't quite know my formal scientific theory well enough to know the term offhand for how one would describe the theory/law of gravity to have been, umm, demonstrated, or whatever. --John Owens | (talk) 11:24, 30 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gravity is reliable but strictly speaking, scientific theories cannot be proven. They can only be established to work consistently according to a large body of data that statistically are reliable. Logically, it would only take one contradiction to disprove a theory, and no one can empirically verify that a theory will work for every instance it is tested until after every instance has actually passed (that is, after the heat death of the universe, or some other boundary beyond which all activity ceases.) -moritheilTalk 19:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dubious[edit]

The reference in the first paragraph is dubious because, while it may or may not be mentioning a similar situation in passing, it does not give a name to such a situation and is more focused on a Fallacy of many questions. I think the situation described by this article is an Association fallacy, and should be merged/redirected to there. T34CH (talk) 21:06, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The book actually describes this exact situation: an invalid, fallacious argument is given and one falsely concludes that the side supported by the fallacy must be false. This is then explained by the author to be an unwarranted conclusion. It is very clear. Other books talk about the fallacy of many questions. I have selected one that specifically deals with this fallacy. -moritheilTalk 21:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's SYN to claim that the book is supporting a fallacy that it doesn't even name. If the author isn't discussing this fallacy in depth, then (given that this is a book which focuses on discussing fallacies in depth) this book isn't supporting this article. T34CH (talk) 21:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By the way, what passage are you referring to specifically from page XXV? T34CH (talk) 21:34, 27 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is not WP:OR if that is exactly what the book describes and I do not have to take any logical or deductive steps to arrive at the conclusion. As I took pains to state above, this is the case. At most you could argue that the article should be renamed, which I would in fact support.
Your argument about "depth" uses an arbitrary metric, in effect creating a new guideline which unfairly places the burden on others to prove it. If I source an article about, say, a judge, and the source deals primarily with his judgeship, but mentions his undergraduate career in one chapter, it is still fine to use it as a source to say that he went to a certain university for undergrad. Similarly this book does not have to focus solely on this topic in order to verify that this is a known fallacy and not, as was alleged at AfD, just something someone made up.
Did you read XXV? It is very clear; I will see if I can type it up if you insist that you did not find it, but be aware that I do not have limitless time to throw at this. -moritheilTalk 03:44, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quoted for reading convenience (don't take my word for it, go to the source and read page XXV):

"It is arguable that Aristotle would have been prepared to extend the death-of-argument 
metaphor to all fallacies.  There is no doubt that Aristotle thinks that fallacies are 
serious mistakes.  This is also my own view, but it is subject to a tautologous seeming 
qualification: Fallacies are serious mistakes when they are indeed fallacies! Whether we 
are thinking of Aristotle's original thirteen or what I call the gang of eighteen, it is 
apparent that rarely are arguments of these various types fallacies just because they are
of that type.  So, for example, when an ad hominem argument or an ad verecundiam argument
is a fallacy, it is not so merely because it has the form of an ad hominem or an
ad verecundiam argument.  That is to say, fallaciousness is not intrinsic to arguments
of these kinds; and the same is true for nearly them all, whether Aristotle's thirteen or
the gang of eighteen.  This is both a setback and an attraction.  The setback is that the
fallacy theorist must be able to specify the varying conditions under which an argument
of a given kind is and is not fallacious.  This is more easily said than done . . . "

-moritheilTalk 04:00, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've changed my mind about redirecting. I think it should be renamed to "argumentum ad logicam" or "argument to logic" per its presence in RS sources.[1][2] T34CH (talk) 14:40, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fallacyfiles source[edit]

Is there anywhere to look up the source that Fallacyfiles cites on the internet? Google Scholar omits that part of the book. I will contact the author of Fallacyfiles to see what he thinks. --Deleet (talk) 16:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The author confirmed that it is there. Furthermore, I have acquired the relevant pages and I too can confirm that it is mentioned in the book. --Deleet (talk) 14:27, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The argument form[edit]

Does anyone object to changing the form to the one listed on FallacyFiles instead? The reference for the form does not appear to be good. The writing is even fragmentary and hard to read. --Deleet (talk) 18:13, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The form on the article currently is wrong, anyway. When you say in a syllogism "If P, then Q", this is a premise (in the form of an implication), not an argument; it is in context an assumption. To state the general form of the fallacy as a syllogism requires a sort of meta-premise:
  • Argument A concludes P.
  • A is fallacious.
  • Therefore, not P.
And this is a fallacy because the existence of an invalid argument for P does not preclude the existence of a valid one. Hairy Dude (talk) 15:58, 7 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lycan Quote[edit]

Unless there is an actual argument in which Lycan proves that the naturalistic fallacy has been made with no argument, and not that extensive arguments have been made and he just doesn't like them, then not only has he ironically committed the very exact type of fallacy he claims to deconstruct, but it does nothing to illuminate the subject and is suspect of interjected POV.

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for speedy deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page has been nominated for speedy deletion:

You can see the reason for deletion at the file description page linked above. —Community Tech bot (talk) 18:22, 23 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 18 June 2022[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Consensus is that the ngrams aren't particularly useful here because they include a large number of unrelated meanings of "fallacy fallacy". (closed by non-admin page mover) Extraordinary Writ (talk) 16:48, 26 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Argument from fallacyFallacy fallacy – It seems to my view the page should be renamed to the 'fallacy fallacy' instead of the current title. Ngram [3] shows that the term fallacy fallacy is used twice as often as 'Argument from fallacy' and overtook it as far back as the 1960's. The other suggested titles are either too low to be registered or don't show up at all on Ngram. It would seem that the term 'fallacy fallacy' would be the better title since it is the most recognised term. Dubarr18 (talk) 12:19, 8 June 2022 (UTC) Forgot to place the requested move template. Have added it now. Dubarr18 (talk) 11:05, 18 June 2022 (UTC) — Relisting. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 16:50, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support; see Ngrams of all mentioned terms and Google Trends. 🐶 EpicPupper (he/him | talk) 18:52, 18 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Relisted due to RM being malformed until yesterday. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 16:51, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support per nom. Shwcz (talk) 04:05, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose - feels like this is an attempt to be "clever", and I don't trust Ngrams results for duplicated words. -- Netoholic @ 05:15, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose very few of the hits on google scholar for "fallacy fallacy" are about this [4]blindlynx 15:38, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per blindlynx, the ngrams cannot be trusted at all. -- King of ♥ 16:51, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose – this does indeed seem to be one of the cases where n-grams are not helpful. Favonian (talk) 15:20, 26 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.