fallacy

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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 syllogismsyllogism,
a mode of argument that forms the core of the body of Western logical thought. Aristotle defined syllogistic logic, and his formulations were thought to be the final word in logic; they underwent only minor revisions in the subsequent 2,200 years.
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). 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.

fallacy

Logic an error in reasoning that renders an argument logically invalid
References in periodicals archive ?
Since the book's discussion is, as he admits at the outset, far from comprehensive--omitting, in particular, inductive teleological and cosmological arguments, and the inductive argument from evil--Gale's final conclusion is the limited, hypothetical one that "if the only arguments [for belief] were the epistemological and pragmatic arguments examined .
Against Plantinga's famous response to the atheological argument from evil, for example, Gale argues that if, as Plantinga claims, God is the creator of human beings and has middle knowledge (that is, if God knows what every possible created person would do in every situation in which that person could possibly perform some action), then God has a "freedom-cancelling control over created persons" (p.
Still, Folger's charge that the argument from nature is the linchpin of gay rights has some truth in it.