Understanding Fallacies

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Category Error

Division

Because the whole has a certain property, it is argued that the parts have that property. The whole in question may be either a whole object or a collection or set of individual members.

Example

  1. Each brick is three inches high, thus, the brick wall is three inches high.
  2. Because the brain is capable of consciousness, each neural cell in the brain must be capable of consciousness.

Proof

Show that the properties in question are the properties of the parts, and not of 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: 119

Reference Guide
Fallacy Summary

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

 

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