Understanding Fallacies

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

Fallacy of Definition

Failure to Elucidate

The definition is harder to understand than the term being defined.

Example

  1. Someone is lascivious if and only if he is wanton.
    (The term being defined is "lascivious". But the meaning of the term "wanton" is just as obscure as the term "lascivious". So this definition fails to elucidate.)
  2. An object is beautiful if and only if it is aesthetically successful. (The term "aesthetically successful" is harder to understand than the term "beautiful".

Proof

Identify the term being defined. Identify the conditions in the definition. Show that the conditions are no more clearly defined than the term being defined.

Reference

Cedarblom and Paulsen: 184

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