Saturday, February 13, 2010

post hoc ergo propter hoc

K brings up a good point. there are a lot of logical fallacies, and I think this as good a time as any to take a walk through the garden of my favorite ones:

post hoc ergo propter hoc
this is a very cool phrase to wear on a t-shirt. please note, as K is so fond of not noting, that this logical fallacy does not mean correlation is not causation (that one is called cum hoc ergo propter hoc). that is not one of my favorite logical fallacies; that is my favorite statistics principle.

pheph has to do with chronology and causation. people often assume that because A happened, then B happened, that A caused B. they are sometimes wrong. sometimes there is a secret C or even a D and an E that actually caused B, and they don't even know about it.

straw man
I like this one because of the name. I like to think that straw man could be a job on a flip cup team or something, like "hey, you be the lead and you be the anchor and you be the straw man!"

in light of what straw man actually means, the above suggestion would also be insulting.

straw man is when you and someone are arguing, and you take their argument and rob it of substance such that it sounds totally flimsy and ridiculous and then you can easily light it on fire with a cutting statement like: "great idea. let's just let everyone die so that you can have some oranges." it is a real pain when someone uses it on you.

slippery slope
it's not quite true that if I give oliver a piece of bacon from my plate every now and then, he will incessantly beg for food while people eat in his presence and will eventually turn to a life of stealing pita bread from the kitchen table while we're not home and burying it in his bed. that is mostly not true because he was always doing those things anyway and it doesn't really matter how much we reinforce his behavior by giving him bacon right from our plates.

the pro-life platform and those sticklers at the aclu really like this one.

ad hominem
this is certainly a crowd-pleaser during election seasons.

C: let's turn the living room into a ball pit. it will be such fun.
K: that's a lousy idea because you're a hobag.

there are many more awesome logical fallacies, but you don't have to take my word for it.


Alicia B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia B said...

.) [(A(-L) & B(-L)) & (A(a) v B(a))]

2.) A(-a) (or so he says)

3.) (A(-a) --> B(a))

4.) [(B(a) & B(-L)) --> §(L)]

pheph: in relationship x, consisting of persons a and b, neither person can locate the agency. If person A claims FIRST to have no agency, the argument implies that person b has said agency. However, if person b can't locate said agency, the agency must be under a pile of shoes.

klooky said...

your logic appropriate and beautiful, like a well tailored ladysuit.