Understanding Fallacies

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Fallacy of Explanation

Subverted Support

An explanation is intended to explain who some phenomenon happens. The explanation is fallacious if the phenomenon does not actually happen or if there is no evidence that it does happen.


  1. The reason why most bachelors are timid is that their mothers were domineering.
    (This attempts to explain why most bachelors are timid. However, it is not the case that most bachelors are timid.)
  2. John went to the store because he wanted to see Maria. (This is a fallacy if, in fact, John went to the library.)
  3. The reason why most people oppose the strike is that they are afraid of losing their jobs. (This attempts to explain why workers oppose the strike. But suppose they just voted to continue the strike, Then in fact, they don't oppose the strike. [This sounds made up, but it actually happened.])


Identify the phenomenon which is being explained. Show that there is no reason to believe that the phenomenon has actually occurred.


Cedarblom and Paulsen: 158

Reference Guide
Fallacy Summary

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


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