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.
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fallacy

Logic an error in reasoning that renders an argument logically invalid
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Nonargument review may be inappropriate then because non-expert staff attorneys may not be able to identify quickly and accurately the material errors, incorrect applications of law, or novel issues requiring judicial attention.
She puts into question Cinque's analysis in terms of a contrast between argument se and nonargument se, claiming instead that the distinction between the two arbitrary se constructions is a matter of Case.
While liking and influence correlated moderately for a number of the more argument-oriented videos, such was not true for three of the four nonargument music videos.
The appeal is then routed to a particular destination--to a settlement program, a merits panel, or onto a "nonargument track." (101) This initial screening is only the beginning of a multilayered review process--all of these cases will be screened and sorted again, either by judges once they are calendared or by staff attorneys and then by judges if they are set on the nonargument track.
Four times a year, Judge Honey sits with the court and does some nonargument cases.
But they form a lexical unit with it, and allow the representation of a third participant (country, place, water, etc.) as a nonargument semantically specified by the verb.
Jelinek's (1984) pronominal argument hypothesis (PAH) states that in some languages, agreement morphemes constitute argument positions, and full NPs are adjuncts which have nonargument status.
Compare this construction to the one below, expressing a more general benefit-giving in which the beneficiary takes on a nonargument form.
(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.
It comprises 10 texts, among which there are arguments, sound or unsound, and nonarguments. For each of the texts, the students were asked to state whether the text was an argument; if it was, they had to identify the conclusion and the reason(s) offered, and they had to make an assessment of the argument, in the sense of whether they agreed with it and why.
Then, just when he should explicate how term limits would have kept all this from happening, we are, instead, presented with nonarguments like "Surely we would not be having this argument |on moving the CIA~ if we had reasonable limits on terms" or "Does anyone doubt that the behavior of the Judiciary Committee |during the Thomas-Hill hearings~ would have been markedly different--never mind better--if its members had been serving under a regime of term limitations?".