fallacy

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n fallacy a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Fallacy (Logic) An argument, or apparent argument, which professes to be decisive of the matter at issue, while in reality it is not; a sophism.
    • Fallacy Deceptive or false appearance; deceitfulness; that which misleads the eye or the mind; deception. "Winning by conquest what the first man lost,
      By fallacy surprised."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n fallacy Deceptiveness; deception; deceit; deceitfulness; that which is erroneous, false, or deceptive; that which misleads; mistake.
    • n fallacy Specifically— A false syllogism; an invalid argumentation; a proposed reasoning which, professing to deduce a necessary conclusion, reaches one which may be false though the premises are true, or which, professing to be probable, infers something that is really not probable, or wants the kind of probability assigned to it. A fallacy is either a sophism or a paralogism, according as the deceit is intentional or not. But the word paralogism is also used to signify a purely logical fallacy—that is, a formal fallacy, or a direct violation of the canons of syllogism. Logicians enumerate as many different kinds of formal fallacy as they give of canons of syllogism, from four to eight. See below.
    • n fallacy The fallacy of accident, arising when a syllogism is made to conclude that, because a given predicate may be truly affirmed of a given subject, the same predicate may be truly affirmed respecting all the accidents of that subject.
    • n fallacy The fallacy of speech respective and speech absolute, occurring when a proposition is affirmed with a qualification or limitation in the premises, but virtually without the qualification in the conclusion.
    • n fallacy The fallacy of irrelevant conclusion, or ignoration of the elench, occurring when the disputant, professing to contradict the thesis, advances another proposition which contradicts it in appearance but not in reality.
    • n fallacy The fallacy of the consequent, or non sequitur, an argument from consequent to antecedent, which may really be a good probable argument.
    • n fallacy Begging the question, or the petitio principii, a syllogism, valid in itself, but in which that is affirmed as a premise which no man who doubts the conclusion would admit.
    • n fallacy The fallacy of false cause, arising when, in making a reductio ad absurdum, besides the proposition to be refuted, some other false premise is introduced.
    • n fallacy The fallacy of many interrogations in which two or more questions are so proposed that they appear to be but one: as, “Have you lost your horns?” a question which implies that you had horns.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Fallacy fal′a-si something fallacious: deceptive appearance: an apparently genuine but really illogical argument:
    • n Fallacy fal′a-si (obs.) deception
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Quotations

  • Steven Weinberg
    Steven Weinberg
    “An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.”
  • Sydney Smith
    Sydney%20Smith
    “Oh, don't tell me of facts -- I never believe facts: you know Canning said nothing was so fallacious as facts, except figures.”
  • Edward Gibbon
    Edward%20Gibbon
    “The laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular.”
  • Thomas H. Huxley
    Thomas%20H.%20Huxley
    “Science is simply common sense at its best--that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. fallace, fallas, deception, F. fallace, fr. L. fallacia, fr. fallax, deceitful, deceptive, fr. fallere, to deceive. See Fail
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. fallace, deceit—L. fallacia, from fallax, deceptive—fallĕre, to deceive.

Usage

In literature:

With regard to our navigation, he is still more uneasy at our situation, and still more fallacious in his state of it.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
No one appears to have realised the fallacy of such method except, perhaps, Tromp.
"Some Principles of Maritime Strategy" by Julian Stafford Corbett
It will appear also, on consideration of the matter, that this fallacy is of two principal kinds.
"Selections From the Works of John Ruskin" by John Ruskin
Fallacies, both vulgar and scientific, obstruct our way.
"Scientific American Supplement, Vol. XV., No. 388, June 9, 1883" by Various
Yet all that he said was vitiated by a fallacy which a glance at a map of the Northwest will expose.
"Stephen A. Douglas" by Allen Johnson
Do you know you are guilty of the fallacy known to logicians as illicit process of the major?
"The Tysons" by May Sinclair
Any woman who has been both a student and a housekeeper knows that this argument is fallacious.
"The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3" by Various
It has given me a settled opinion on these subjects, if nobody can show a fallacy in the argument.
"Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by James Marchant
I said that his question was but the major promise of a fallacious Christian Science syllogism.
"The Turtles of Tasman" by Jack London
The statement that excess in stone will give body to concrete is a fallacy hardly worth contradicting.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 643, April 28, 1888" by Various
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In poetry:

At logic few with him could vie;
To his peculiar sect
He could propose a fallacy
With singular effect.
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"A fallacy in your reply
Our intellect descries,
Although we don't pretend to spy
Exactly where it lies.
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
But, ah! by sudden turns I see
My lying heart's fallacious guilt,
And that my faith, not firm in me,
On sinking sand was partly built;
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. IV." by Ralph Erskine
“Wound up in the heart of his error
He must sweep through the silences dire,
Like one in the dark of a desert
Allured by fallacious fire.”
"Safi" by Henry Kendall
A third indulges these fallacious thoughts,
"Suppose my faults the highest hills transcend,
"Yet greater are God's mercies than my faults,
"And he'll forgive me at my latter end."
"The Pastor's Complaint" by Rees Prichard
Faith, unaccompany'd by works, is dead —
A formless faith — a trunk without a head —
A faith, that blinds — a false, fallacious faith —
A faith, that leads the ready way to death!
"Advice To Believe In Christ, And An Exhibition Or Display Of The Wonderful Change That Is Wrought In" by Rees Prichard

In news:

The Fallacy of Resource- Unbounded Intelligence.
Critic's Notebook: 'Gatsby,' 'Gatz' and the fallacy of adaptation .
Data proves the fallacy of this view as a growing number of patients require continued nursing and rehabilitative care after a hospital stay to recover fully.
The fallacy of this statement is not first focusing on teaching writing as a prerequisite to the assignment of writ...
A killer fallacy of regulation is the assumption that if some is good more must be better.
What the " broken window" fallacy means for you.
Critic 's Notebook: 'Gatsby,' 'Gatz' and the fallacy of adaptation.
WASHINGTON — One of the great fallacies of politics — and life — is that one must be liked to be effective .
What the "broken window" fallacy means for you.
This historical fallacy of two Americas – One Black, One White.
Donald explains the two major fallacies about China that he deals with in the book: the inevitability of war with China, and the harm the US is experiencing as a result of a growing China.
Dorothy Little letter relies on liberal ' fallacy '.
On Tuesday December 4, host Aaron Perry speaks with Donald Gross , author of The China Fallacy: How the US Can Benefit from China's Rise and Avoid Another Cold War.
That said, of late the pendulum has been swinging the other way, toward what might be called a fallacy of irrationality .
Last week, my mail person delivered an advertisement for a new book that purported to expose all the fallacies in the labels on all the food products.
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In science:

It will be demonstrated below that lacks consistency and its conclusions are based on fallacious propositions and unsupported by the authors’ own experimental results.
How to map a pseudogap?
The argument below becomes fallacious if we write P (X ≤ x|E ) (as Reitzner does) everywhere we have P (X ≤ x & E ).
Central limit theorems for uniform model random polygons
In 2011, I published a popular-level book, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed for Us.
Defending The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning
In Fallacy, I give plausible reasons for the values of each within existing, wellestablished physics and cosmology. The remaining parameters are also supposed to be fine-tuned to many orders of magnitude. I show that they are at best fine-tuned, if you want to call it that, to 10-20 percent.
Defending The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning
In Fallacy, I formulate some of my arguments with certain simplified assumptions, such as semi-Newtonian cosmology.
Defending The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning
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