Via Daily Nous, I encountered two new informal fallacies. Keith Payne, Laura Niemi, and John Doris coin them in writing about implicit bias at Scientific American.
- the divining rod fallacy: On the basis of an instrument or scale for measurement being problematic, inferring that the property which it measures is not real. “[J]ust because a rod doesn’t find water doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as water.”
- the palm reading fallacy: Expecting psychological or sociological phenomena which occur at the group level to yield predictions about particular group members. “[U]nlike palm readers, research psychologists aren’t usually in the business of telling you, as an individual, what your life holds in store.”
You should feel free to diagnose these fallacies in the arguments of your interlocutors. I’ve added them to my list.
This post is a week late to the party, but I haven’t seen this point made explicitly: Trump’s “shit-hole” comment egregiously conflates within-group and between-group differences.
Continue reading “A Trumpian fallacy”
Since February 1999, I’ve had a web page about fallacies. Rather than regurgitating all of the usual ones that one can find elaborated in critical thinking textbooks, I collect fallacies which an author names for just one occasion. These one-offs don’t appear on the usual lists. Authors usually do this to condemn some specific target, one who has committed not some generic error in reasoning but the specific if newly-named fallacy of such-and-so.
Prompted by John Holbo at Crooked Timber, I’ve added three new specimens. One is coined tongue-in-cheek by Holbo himself to mock a book review by David Bentley Hart, and the other two are coined by Hart in his would-be hatchet job on Daniel Dennett’s book From Bacteria to Bach and Back.
Continue reading “Fallacies: Narcissan, pleonastic, and unnatural deceleration”