Understanding Fallacies

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Inductive Fallacy

False Analogy

In an analogy, two objects (or events), A and B are shown to be similar. Then it is argued that since A has property P, so also B must have property P. An analogy fails when the two objects, A and B, are different in a way which affects whether they both have property P.

Example

  1. Employees are like nails. Just as nails must be hit in the head in order to make them work, so must employees.
  2. Government is like business, so just as business must be sensitive primarily to the bottom line, so also must government. (But the objectives of government and business are completely different, so probably they will have to meet different criteria.)

Proof

Identify the two objects or events being compared and the property which both are said to possess. Show that the two objects are different in a way which will affect whether they both have that property.

Reference

Barker: 192, Cedarblom and Paulsen: 257, Davis: 84

Reference Guide
Fallacy Summary

The content of this Fallacy originated from Stephen Downes Guide to Logical Fallacies.

 

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