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Author Topic: naming logical fallacies  (Read 678 times)

mahlernut

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naming logical fallacies
« on: 25 Jul 2019, 05:49 »

Maybe this is a totally weird place to post this (or I'm just weird for wanting to ask about it at all), but there's a logical fallacy that's been driving me nuts for ages and that I swear must have a name.  The best I've been able to manage in terms of narrowing it down is this:

A can only do Y if “unproven proposition” (e.g. "they cheat")
If A does Y, it proves “unproven proposition”
As a result:
If A does Y, Y is inherently invalid
But if A doesn’t Y, Y is valid

Is it just two distinct fallacies stapled together?  Something that's too specific for anyone to have bothered with?  Why do I feel like naming it will somehow make it bug me less?

Logos gives me migraines!
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LTK

Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #1 on: 25 Jul 2019, 06:10 »

I don't understand, can you give a more concrete example?

It might not help to put a name on it, as long as you can identify it when it's used and refute the argument if it's invalid.
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Cornelius

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jul 2019, 06:47 »

An example (or even a couple of them) would be welcome. I've been trying to fill in the gaps, but I don't really arrive anywhere, either.

Also, what is the value of "can": is able to, or is allowed to?
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mahlernut

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jul 2019, 10:11 »

Yeah, I couldn't tell how clear my compression of the thing was.  Also, was trying to avoid the politics, since it's basically about the claim that:

A Democrat can only win the presidency if they cheat
If they win the presidency, it proves that they cheated
so
If a Democrat wins the presidency, the election is invalid
But if a Democrat doesn't win, the election is valid

One of the more problematic/frightening toxins added to the national discourse since 2016, since it's accepted as a self-evident truth by an awful lot of people.
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Tova

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jul 2019, 15:29 »

I was going to say it's just a faulty premise. Probably, it's begging the question, which is where you take as a premise the thing you're trying to prove. Your example seems to be the most basic form of that since it sounds like it's some kind of logical chain when really it's just rewording the same premise over and over (except maybe for the very last statement which is a non sequitur - it does not follow from A -> B that ^A -> ^B).
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Akima

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jul 2019, 16:34 »

If you want to avoid politics, a form I'm familiar with is:

"Asian students only do well because they cheat", so it follows that,
"Any Asian who got a degree did so by cheating.", but,
"If Asian students fail, the exam system is infallible, and they failed because they're stupid racial inferiors."

I don't know what to call it either, beyond being an arsehole.
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Tova

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jul 2019, 17:58 »

Your example made me think of the fallacy "motivated reasoning," but yeah, "being an arsehole" is probably the most comprehensive explanation.
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Wingy

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jul 2019, 18:13 »

I believe the first one is: affirming the consequent
and the second one is: denying the antecedent

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies
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Case

Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jul 2019, 23:14 »

This is an example of the Tovarian Sophistry

US conservatives, in particular, need to get over this syllogism they seem to always carry around.

Socialism = BAD
This is socialism
Therefore this is BAD

Mentioned in the DSM-VI as an acute symptom of optimatiate senile encephalopathy.
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Case

Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jul 2019, 23:42 »

I believe the first one is: affirming the consequent
and the second one is: denying the antecedent

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

Naw - circular reasoning.

It's a subtle sleight of hand - the first line suggest that the argument is about proving that Democrats can only win elections if they cheat, but the second line then changes tack and pretends that it's about proving that Democrats have cheated.

A valid syllogism would be:

Suppose that it is true that a Democrat can only win the presidency if they cheat,
(then it is also true that:)
If they win the presidency, it proves that they have cheated

The pseudo-syllogism omits the 'suppose that it is true'-part to confuse the reader about the role of the first line - whether it is premise or conclusion.

You could also call it lying.
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JoeCovenant

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #10 on: 26 Jul 2019, 02:03 »


Self-Fulfilling Sophistry!

;)

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mahlernut

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Re: naming logical fallacies
« Reply #11 on: 26 Jul 2019, 05:35 »


Self-Fulfilling Sophistry!

;)

LOL!   :laugh:

Thinking about the responses, I realize that the part that bugs me is less where you're insulting whoever you're talking about (as pointed out, "lying" and "being an arsehole" are both pretty good ways of describing it), and more just the attempt to degrade the means used to pursue whatever the final goal is - the argument that the thing in question shouldn't exist if it doesn't result in you getting what you want.  Like, "if I win the Superbowl, gimme the trophy; if I don't, cancel all future Superbowls (but still gimme the trophy)." 

Something more along the lines of the poisoning the well fallacy?
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