Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Another re-post - Some fallacies you may not have encountered...

In the bad old days I taught logic for a short while [for my sins] - a few of the lectures were on fallacy and I gave a few some new names to cover the ones not generally classified or given a universal nomenclature [got me into a bit of trouble too but that's another story] . The first two surprisingly caught on and on occasion they can be found being mentioned on the web. I wrote loads more so may post a few when I find my old notebook.


Last Man Standing Fallacy - The arguments of the victor in an election or war are axiomatically validated by the victory. It is also known as the Trial by Combat Fallacy, Winner Takes All Fallacy.

Martyr Fallacy - The loser is axiomatically correct by virtue of failure (antithesis of Last Man Standing Fallacy), also known as the Underdog Fallacy, or argumentam sub canem


The Whispers of Eris - If someone is trying to obfuscate , distract or lead you away from a line of thinking - that original line is more likely to be the case.

The Sir Humphrey - Never believe anything until it is officially denied.

The Ears of Midas - The over-suppression of a secret is more likely to lead to its being revealed.

The Herald's Trumpet - When a New Initiative or exclusive news is prematurely or unexpectedly announced - it's invariably a diversionary tactic - look for the validity of that which has been the previous pre-occupation of those intiators.

The Reclarification - The time spent on the specific tweaks of exigent facts is directly proportional to their [awkward/embarassing] original validity.


Arguments of false simplicity or complexity are fallacies which argue that the simplicity/complexity of a problem affects the validity or even possibility of a conclusion.

Ockham's Fallacy - The simplest argument is axiomatically the correct one.

Sesquipedalian Fallacy - the most complex, long-winded or detailed argument is axiomatically the correct one.

Mystagogue Fallacy - The complexity of an issue means there is no right answer.

Crossroads Fallacy - because there are many possible directions to travel, there is no right way to go. When an argument has a plurality of possible answers, none of the answers can be true.e.g. There are so many religions, none can have any validity.

Horserace Fallacy - As every race must have a winner, when confronted with multiple possibilities, one must be the valid solution.

Iguanadon's Horn Fallacy - The presumption that an unknown collection of phenomena or predicates bear a congruency to similar phenomena or predicates [e.g. a spiky bone fossil must be an iguanadon horn because other dinosaurs had similar spiky horns {actually they were thumbs} ; the bricks of a collapsed aqueduct may appear to have formed multiple bridges , or a tunnel.


Just Push the Button Fallacy - When confronted with only one possibility one must act upon that possibility. [ref The silver bell fallacy- where one feels compelled to act upon a single possibility]

Pull any lever Fallacy - When confronted with a plurality of possibilities the one requiring action is axiomatically valid.

The Bigger Hammer fallacy - The more applied force or effort or a lengthier period of time will arrive at greater results.

The efficiency fallacy - the option that requires the least effort is axiomatically the valid one.

The obverse fallacy - the presumption that the apparent predicates/phenomena of an action/aspect of reality are identical in an ostensibly reverse action/situation e.g. the distance in days between easter and christmas, and christmas and easter are identical ; adding water to sulphuric acid will have the same effects as adding sulphuric acid to water.
..as I said there are dozens more..will just have to hunt down that notebook...tell me of your own !!!

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