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History Main / FallacyFallacy

9th Feb '18 12:08:34 PM jpaugh
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An argument using fallacious reasoning is capable of being consequentially correct. In logic, "invalid" (fallacious argument) and "false" are ''not synonymous'' (See SoundValidTrue for a more complete explanation of this. There are reasons why extensive Critical Thinking courses exist.) This is related to how [[TropesAreTools logical argument is used as a tool rather than as a fact-in-itself, and that logical validity can sometimes be surpassed by an objective scientific fact]].

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An argument using fallacious reasoning is consequentially capable of being consequentially correct.true. In logic, "invalid" (fallacious argument) and "false" are ''not synonymous'' (See SoundValidTrue for a more complete explanation of this. There are reasons why extensive Critical Thinking courses exist.) This is related to how [[TropesAreTools logical argument is used as a tool rather than as a fact-in-itself, and that logical validity can sometimes be surpassed by an objective scientific fact]].
2nd Jan '18 2:42:56 PM Premonition45
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Compare ArgumentumAdLapidem, which is when an argument is dismissed as absurd without explaining ''why'' it's absurd.
12th Sep '17 3:24:14 PM Caps-luna
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* Kinda inverting: Martin Gardner, the math popularizer, coined the [[SdrawkcabName Ycallaf]], which is an argument that *looks* like a fallacy but is nevertheless true. (Beloved example: The otherwise fallacious 0=1-1+1-1+...=1-(-1+1-1+)...=1 argument is actually valid when properly interpreted in the [[ItMakesSenseInContext context]] of knot theory.) [[note]]It doesn't prove 0=1 but that -1, i.e. "antiknots" do not exist.

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* Kinda inverting: Martin Gardner, the math popularizer, coined the [[SdrawkcabName Ycallaf]], which is an argument that *looks* like a fallacy but is nevertheless true. (Beloved example: The otherwise fallacious 0=1-1+1-1+...=1-(-1+1-1+)...=1 argument is actually valid when properly interpreted in the [[ItMakesSenseInContext context]] of knot theory.) [[note]]It doesn't prove 0=1 but that -1, i.e. "antiknots" do not exist.[[/note]]

[[/note]]

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[[/note]]*The ChewbaccaDefense is a gambit where if you can prove any part of your opponents argument to be false, not matter how minor, it makes their entire argument false.
12th Sep '17 1:23:45 PM Caps-luna
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* Zeroth Law of Fallacies
12th Sep '17 1:22:36 PM Caps-luna
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* Kinda inverting: Martin Gardner, the math popularizer, coined the [[SdrawkcabName Ycallaf]], which is an argument that *looks* like a fallacy but is nevertheless true. (Beloved example: The otherwise fallacious 0=1-1+1-1+...=1-(-1+1-1+)...=1 argument is actually valid when properly interpreted in the [[ItMakesSenseInContext context]] of knot theory.) [[note]]It doesn't prove 0=1 but that -1, i.e. "antiknots" do not exist.[[/note]]

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* Kinda inverting: Martin Gardner, the math popularizer, coined the [[SdrawkcabName Ycallaf]], which is an argument that *looks* like a fallacy but is nevertheless true. (Beloved example: The otherwise fallacious 0=1-1+1-1+...=1-(-1+1-1+)...=1 argument is actually valid when properly interpreted in the [[ItMakesSenseInContext context]] of knot theory.) [[note]]It doesn't prove 0=1 but that -1, i.e. "antiknots" do not exist.exist.
* Pointing out a [[SlipperySlopeFallacy slippery slope argument]] doesn't necessarily mean its impossible to slide down the slope or even unlikely. Indeed it is often much easier to metaphorically get from B-Z than from A-B.
[[/note]]
11th Mar '17 12:30:16 PM Fireblood
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It should be noted that the [[ShiftingTheBurdenOfProof Burden of Proof]] applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption. As above, it may well be that Ginger actually ''is'' a cat, but logic doesn't decide what's true, it decides what makes sense.

Another excellent example of how a [[RightForTheWrongReasons false argument combined with a true conclusion]]: in medicine, pressure around the brain can cause severe headaches. Ancient surgeons assumed that it must be demons in the patient's head causing the pain, and that exposing them to light would kill them or drive them out; therefore, they drilled holes in the patient's skull. The end result relieved the pressure and actually ''did'' cure the headaches, even though their reasoning was entirely faulty.

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It should be noted that the [[ShiftingTheBurdenOfProof Burden burden of Proof]] proof]] applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption. As above, it may well be that Ginger actually ''is'' a cat, but logic doesn't decide what's true, it decides what makes sense.

Another excellent example of how a [[RightForTheWrongReasons false argument is combined with a true conclusion]]: in medicine, pressure around the brain can cause severe headaches. Ancient surgeons assumed that it must be demons in the patient's head causing the pain, and that exposing them to light would kill them or drive them out; therefore, they drilled holes in the patient's skull. The end result relieved the pressure and actually ''did'' cure the headaches, even though their reasoning was entirely faulty.

* A good many theories about the world over the years including many scientific ones are mostly WildMassGuessing for their time that lead to the right conclusions but for the wrong reasons. Freud's theories, for example, are sometimes useful but are based on dated inaccurate knowledge of the mind.

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* A good many theories about the world over the years including many scientific ones are mostly WildMassGuessing for their time that lead led to the right conclusions but for the wrong reasons. Freud's theories, for example, are sometimes useful but are based on dated inaccurate knowledge of the mind.
11th Feb '17 9:43:31 AM garthvader
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It should be noted that the [[ShiftingTheBurdenOfProof Burden of Proof]] applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption.

to:

It should be noted that the [[ShiftingTheBurdenOfProof Burden of Proof]] applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption.
assumption. As above, it may well be that Ginger actually ''is'' a cat, but logic doesn't decide what's true, it decides what makes sense.
11th Feb '17 9:38:38 AM garthvader
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It should be noted that the BurdenOfProof applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption.

to:

It should be noted that the BurdenOfProof [[ShiftingTheBurdenOfProof Burden of Proof]] applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption.
11th Feb '17 9:37:14 AM garthvader
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It should be noted that the BurdenOfProof applies here: if the only ''reason'' to accept a claim is a fallacious argument, accepting the claim anyway is ''unreasonable''. If our null hypothesis is that Ginger is not a cat, Tom has given us no reason to change this assumption.
11th Feb '17 9:33:56 AM garthvader
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* A beautiful example of the Fallacy Fallacy comes up every time an agency, government, or corporation involved in a controversial issue conducts an internal review or investigation and then publishes results which agree with their desired position. The doubters will immediately resort to an impugning motives form of ad hominem; "Of course that's what they would say! They've got a vested interest!" This may be true, but one cannot logically conclude that the impure motives mean the internal review was falsified. However, in turn, this does not mean there was no cover-up at all. Logic cannot tell us what is true in this case, so we have to switch to other modes of thought to come to a probabilistic conclusion about whether "they" are lying.
-->'''Alice:''' The environmental survey says there will be no damage to caribou populations if we open this area to mining.\\
'''Bob:''' Of course that's what those greedy bastards at Strippit Mining Enterprises would say. They're just publishing research which supports their point of view.\\
'''Alice:''' Hold on; you're just dismissing the report because [[AdHominem the company]] did the research without even examining the report.\\
'''Bob:''' And you're [[AppealToAuthority uncritically accepting their authority]] when they have a clear interest in the conclusion.\\
'''Charlie:''' So basically...you're both talking out of your rear ends.
** Alternate hypothesis analysis shows that an organization coming to a conclusion that suits their vested interest *is* evidence that the conclusion is true--just very weak evidence. Consider: if the mining would harm caribou, what would we expect Strippit Mining to say? That it wouldn't harm caribou,of course. But, suppose the mining would in fact not harm the caribou--what would we expect Strippit to say? Why, that the mining would not harm the caribou. Since one would expect Strippit to say the same thing whether or not it is true, their statement doesn't seem to be evidence one way or the other--and definitely not evidence that their finding is untrue. However, if the mining would harm caribou, there is at least some chance Strippit would admit the harm. Organizations, like people, are sometimes honest even when it is against their best interests. But if the mining would not harm the caribou, it is hard to imagine Strippit lying and saying it would, a lie which would be against their own interests. Therefore, their claim of harmlessness is weak evidence of harmlessness, based on how likely Strippit is to be honest against their own interest. (And Strippit reporting that their mining plan would harm caribou is rather strong evidence that it would. Organizations don't usually lie to harm themselves.)
*** Additionally, the value we place on Strippit's evidence in part depends on context. If, for example, mining is well-regulated and companies are investigated by thorough, incorruptible officials who are likely to find any malfeasance and fines for deceit are punishingly high, we can consider Strippit's real vested interest is in being honest. The same might be true without laws in an environment where people internalize social responsibility, such as if Strippit's corporate culture consisted of people from the land to be mined and they valued environmentally responsible mining.
*** An example of this sort of policing is in clinical trials, where a pharmaceutical company really is interested in catching common adverse effects during the Phase III trials (before releasing the drug to market), as there are whole bevies of lawyers waiting to discover a drug has adverse effects that were swept under the rug. More problematic are rare side effects discovered during Phase IV (post-release surveillance), as the population taking the drug explodes and new events may be found that didn't show up in the first few hundred trial participants.
** Note also that this sort of bias need not involve deliberate lying--people will interpret ambiguous evidence as favoring the conclusion they desire or already believe. That is, ''assuming the evidence is ambiguous'', we would expect the Ban All Mining And Especially Strippit activist group to report that the mining would harm the caribou - and not necessarily through any lying or even lack of diligence on their part.
** And of course if either Strippit or Ban All Mining offers actual proof, this is not disproven by their own self-interest or preexisting ideology.
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