Understanding Fallacies

Add to iGoogle    Get the Do Good Gauge Fallacy Randomizer Gadget by clicking on the Google Icon

Category Error

Composition

Because the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued that the whole has that property. That whole may be either an object composed of different parts, or it may be a collection or set of individual members.

Example

  1. The brick wall is six feet tall. Thus, the bricks in the wall are six feet tall.
  2. Germany is a militant country. Thus, each German is militant.
  3. Conventional bombs did more damage in W.W. II than nuclear bombs. Thus, a conventional bomb is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. (From Copi, p. 118)

Proof

Show that the properties in question are the properties of the whole, and not of each part or member or the whole. If necessary, describe the parts to show that they could not have the properties of the whole.

Reference

(Barker: 164, Copi and Cohen: 117)

Reference Guide
Fallacy Summary

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

 

Creative Commons License
The Do Good Gauge is licensed to Scott Nesler under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
.

Add to iGoogle     Get the Do Good Gauge Quote Randomizer Gadget by clicking on the Google Icon