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FALLACY

FALLACY. In general usage, a false and often deceitful idea; in logic, a line of reasoning (also known as a paralogism) that may seem valid but is not. Fallacies of discourse were first described in Greek and Latin, and many therefore retain their classical names, either uniquely or alongside a vernacular label. They include: (1) Argumentum ad baculum [Latin: argument backed by a stick]. Resorting to threat in order to have a point accepted. (2) Argumentum ad hominem [Latin: argument directed at the person]. Often called an ad hominem argument or an ad hominem attack. Seeking to disprove a point by attacking the people making that point, either in terms of their character or by referring to their personal circumstances as an explanation of why a position has been adopted. (3) Argumentum ad populum [Latin: argument directed at the people]. An appeal to popular opinion, bias, and inclination. (4) Non sequitur [Latin: it does not follow]. A statement in which the premisses of an argument do not lead to the conclusion provided. (5) Post hoc ergo propter hoc [Latin: after this therefore because of this]. Asserting that because A came before B, A caused B.

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fallacy

fallacy, in logic, a term used to characterize an invalid argument. Strictly speaking, it refers only to the transition from a set of premises to a conclusion, and is distinguished from falsity, a value attributed to a single statement. The laws of syllogisms were systematically elaborated by Aristotle, and for an argument to be valid, it must adhere to all the laws; to be fallacious, it need only break one (see syllogism). The term fallacy has come to be used in a somewhat wider sense than the purely formal one. Informal fallacies are said to occur when statements are ambiguous or vague as to the logical form they represent, or when a multiplicity of meaning is present and the validity of the argument depends on switching meanings of a word or a phrase in midstream.

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fallacy

fal·la·cy / ˈfaləsē/ • n. (pl. -cies) a mistaken belief, esp. one based on unsound argument. ∎  Logic a failure in reasoning that renders an argument invalid. ∎  faulty reasoning; misleading or unsound argument: the potential for fallacy which lies behind the notion of self-esteem. DERIVATIVES: fal·la·cious / fəˈlāshəs/ adj. fal·la·cious·ness / fəˈlāshəsnəs/ n.

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fallacy

fallacy deception XV; logical flaw, delusive notion XVI; delusive nature XVIII. — L. fallācia, f. fallāx, fallāc-, f. fallere deceive.
So fallacious XVI. — (O)F. fallacieux. See -ACY, -ACIOUS.

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fallacy

fallacy •radiancy •immediacy, intermediacy •expediency • idiocy • saliency •resiliency • leniency •incipiency, recipiency •recreancy • pruriency • deviancy •subserviency • transiency • pliancy •buoyancy, flamboyancy •fluency, truancy •constituency • abbacy • embassy •celibacy • absorbency •incumbency, recumbency •ascendancy, intendancy, interdependency, pendency, resplendency, superintendency, tendency, transcendency •candidacy •presidency, residency •despondency • redundancy • infancy •sycophancy • argosy • legacy •profligacy • surrogacy •extravagancy • plangency • agency •regency •astringency, contingency, stringency •intransigency • exigency • cogency •pungency •convergency, emergency, insurgency, urgency •vacancy • piquancy • fricassee •mendicancy • efficacy • prolificacy •insignificancy • delicacy • intricacy •advocacy • fallacy • galaxy •jealousy, prelacy •repellency • valency • Wallasey •articulacy • corpulency • inviolacy •excellency • equivalency • pharmacy •supremacy • clemency • Christmassy •illegitimacy, legitimacy •intimacy • ultimacy • primacy •dormancy • diplomacy • contumacy •stagnancy •lieutenancy, subtenancy, tenancy •pregnancy •benignancy, malignancy •effeminacy • prominency •obstinacy • pertinency • lunacy •immanency •impermanency, permanency •rampancy • papacy • flippancy •occupancy •archiepiscopacy, episcopacy •transparency • leprosy • inerrancy •flagrancy, fragrancy, vagrancy •conspiracy • idiosyncrasy •minstrelsy • magistracy • piracy •vibrancy •adhocracy, aristocracy, autocracy, bureaucracy, democracy, gerontocracy, gynaecocracy (US gynecocracy), hierocracy, hypocrisy, meritocracy, mobocracy, monocracy, plutocracy, technocracy, theocracy •accuracy • obduracy • currency •curacy, pleurisy •confederacy • numeracy •degeneracy • itinerancy • inveteracy •illiteracy, literacy •innocency • trenchancy • deficiency •fantasy, phantasy •intestacy • ecstasy • expectancy •latency • chieftaincy • intermittency •consistency, insistency, persistency •instancy • militancy • impenitency •precipitancy • competency •hesitancy • apostasy • constancy •accountancy • adjutancy •consultancy, exultancy •impotency • discourtesy •inadvertency • privacy •irrelevancy, relevancy •solvency • frequency • delinquency •adequacy • poignancy

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