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Is This a Logical Fallacy?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Tck13, May 9, 2013.

  1. Tck13

    Tck13 Senior member

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    Is the bolded a logical fallacy of some kind? My friend posted this on his facebook page but I can't really identify if it a specific fallacy or just a couple put together.

    Then, someone then mentioned this:

     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013


  2. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    That's not a fallacy of composition. A fallacy of composition is where you take one part of the whole, verify it's characteristics, and then assume the whole shares the same characteristics.

    Ex - John is a part of the human race and he is brave. Therefore all humans are brave.

    What's being described does not sound like a fallacy at all. If A, B, C, and D make up object E and you can independently verify that A, B, C, and D possess characteristic X then E will also possess characteristic X.

    This doesn't make any sense. Does the person have an example?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013


  3. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    That is a fallacy of composition, which is to conclude from some quality of the parts the same quality of the whole. For example, each of the cells that I'm made of is tiny, therefore I am tiny.
     


  4. Tck13

    Tck13 Senior member

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    Hmmm. I could try to ask for another example. Unfortunately, this may have been a stupid idea playing the middle man between facebook and here. I was thinking that it might be an easy, obvious answer for someone so I thought I'd post it. Also, I'll post the rest below.





    Here's more. It's not much of a conversation (It IS facebook after all):

     


  5. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    It's really hard to know what your friend means, in large part because of the way he's using the word "valid." It's not clear to me what a "valid aggregate" would be. Typically, we use the word valid to describe arguments, not things or individual propositions. Individual propositions are either true or false, but not valid or invalid. I'm guessing the aggregate he has in mind is a theory or a general belief system; if so, it's not the sort of thing that can be valid or invalid. Maybe he just means true.

    Also, I don't think there's a fallacy of division involved. That's the opposite of a fallacy of composition: you conclude from some quality of the whole that the parts have that same quality. For example, if the Yankees team batting average is .277, then each of the Yankees is batting .277. Whatever your friend has in mind, it looks more like a fallacy of composition.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013


  6. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    I must respectfully disagree with the learned Prof, only in that this -

    makes no sense whatsoever. Unless your friend can offer a specific example of what the fuck he means here there's no way we can understand what the fuck he means.
     


  7. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    Interpreting that as charitably as I can, that sounds a little bit like what's called reflective equilibrium. All of us have beliefs about individual cases, principles by which we judge those individual cases, and then a more general outlook on life. For every one of us, there is some inconsistency between these different levels. That is because our views come from a thousand different sources; many of them we just pick up by osmosis. And so the process of reflective equilibrium is to bring our intuitions about particular cases into line with our more general views. Of course you can't really know in advance which is correct, our intuitions about particular cases or our general principles. We test each with reference to the other.

    The fact that our intuitions about particular cases are out of line with our general principles isn't really a fallacy; it's just a basic feature of our thinking.
     


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