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 ?
29) Le: Argument > less argumental > nonargument a.
I therefore suggest that in these constructions the secondary topic status is associated with the possessor of the object noun rather than with the referent of the object itself, so we are dealing here with a nonargument secondary topic.
Kristen Rand fills half of your March 22 ``Point-Counterpoint'' space (``Let's end special protections that gun makers enjoy,'' Opinions) with a series of fatuous nonarguments on why gun manufacturers should be sued.