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It is the result of an internal change in the nature of the terms. It is sui generis in that it cannot be placed under the head of identify or of difference, both of which are contained as traits in its being. The Jaina view of relatedness of the things is very naturally extended to the discussion of causality. Causality is a relation of determination. The effects is that whose coming into being is necessarily determined by the being of another. The determinant is called the cause and the determinatum is called the effect.

The Jaina answers that it is perception of the concomitance in agreement and difference… The Jaina takes the observation of concomitance in agreement and in difference to be one observation,…. The Jaina posits a twofold cause for the perception of universal relation-an internal and an external condition. JPN p. Such concepts as causality, substance, attribute and the like, are no doubt the ways in which the mind works up the data of experience, but this does not mean with the Jaina that they are true of the mind only and not of the extra-mental reality which they purport to understand.

JPN, p. They have been posited since general concepts presuppose their existence and since without these principles the data of experience cannot be organised into a system. These categories in spite of their general and comprehensive character are not only not inconsistent with the existence of individual entities, but on the contrary they are entirely based on the objective data. Without the individual existents these categories would be reduced to unmeaning class concepts.

The affirmation of categories as objective principles is thus proof of the existence of individual reals, which are included within the ambit of these categories. Without the individuals forming their contents the categories would be empty and barren, and the individuals without the categories would be reduced to a welter of chaos. The Jaina is a believer in plurality no doubt, but that plurality is not an unrelated chaos.

JPN, pp. But the analytic view does not give us the whole nature of reality as it is. It is a partial picture that we derive of the world by means of such approach. The selfsame existence again reveals itself as Space in so far as it provides accommodation for the infinite plurality of existence within itself ksetra. The hunter Thompson, although she broke the law, may nevertheless have a very good plan for the wetlands.


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Another, more subtle version of the fallacy is the circumstantial ad hominem in which, given the circumstances in which the arguer finds him or herself, it is alleged that their position is supported by self-interest rather than by good evidence. Hence, the scientific studies produced by industrialists to show that the levels of pollution at their factories are within the law may be undeservedly rejected because they are thought to be self-serving.

Yet it is possible that the studies are sound: just because what someone says is in their self-interest, does not mean it should be rejected. The third version of the ad hominem fallacy is the tu quoque. It involves not accepting a view or a recommendation because the espouser him- or herself does not follow it. Thus, if our neighbor advises us to exercise regularly and we reject her advice on the basis that she does not exercise regularly, we commit the tu quoque fallacy: the value of advice is not wholly dependent on the integrity of the advisor.

The fallacy of faulty analogy occurs when analogies are used as arguments or explanations and the similarities between the two things compared are too remote to support the conclusion. If a child gets a new toy he or she will want to play with it; So, if a nation gets new weapons, it will want to use them. In this example due to Churchill , there is a great difference between using playing with toys and using discharging weapons.

The former is done for amusement, the latter is done to inflict harm on others. Playing with toys is a benign activity that requires little justification; using weapons against others nations is something that is usually only done after extensive deliberation and as a last resort. Hence, there is too much of a difference between using toys and using weapons to conclude that a nation, if it acquires weapons, will want to use them as readily as children will want to play with their toys.

The fallacy of the slippery slope generally takes the form that from a given starting point one can by a series of incremental inferences arrive at an undesirable conclusion, and because of this unwanted result, the initial starting point should be rejected. The kinds of inferences involved in the step-by-step argument can be causal, as in:. The weakness in this argument, the reason why it is a fallacy, lies in the second and third causal claims.

The series of small steps that lead from an acceptable starting point to an unacceptable conclusion may also depend on vague terms rather than causal relations. Hence, at each step in the argument until the final hair-plucking, we should continue to conclude that the man is bearded. In both these cases apparently good reasoning leads to a false conclusion. Many other fallacies have been named and discussed, some of them quite different from the ones mentioned above, others interesting and novel variations of the above. Some of these will be mentioned in the review of historical and contemporary sources that follows.

It is among his earlier writings and the work appears to be a continuation of the Topics , his treatise on dialectical argumentation. Although his most extensive and theoretically detailed discussion of fallacies is in the Sophistical Refutations , Aristotle also discusses fallacies in the Prior Analytics and On Rhetoric.

Here we will concentrate on summarizing the account given in the Sophistical Refutations. At the beginning of Topics I, i , Aristotle distinguishes several kinds of deductions syllogisms. They are distinguished first on the basis of the status of their premises. Other fallacies mentioned and associated with demonstrations are 5 those which only appear to start from what is true and primary Top.

What this classification leaves out are 6 the arguments that do start from true and primary premises but then fail to necessitate their conclusions; two of these, begging the question and non-cause are discussed in Prior Analytics II, 16, Nevertheless, in many of the examples given what stands out is that the premises are given as answers in dialogue and are to be maintained by the answerer, not necessarily that they are dialectical in the sense of being common opinions.

This variation on dialectical deductions Aristotle calls examination arguments SR 2 b4. There are three closely related concepts needed to understand sophistical refutations. Thus an argument may fail to be a syllogism in three different ways. The premises may fail to necessitate the conclusion, the conclusion may be the same as one of the premises, and the conclusion may not be caused by grounded in the premises.

The concept of a proof underlying Sophistical Refutations is similar to what is demanded of demonstrative knowledge in Posterior Analytics I ii 71b20 , viz. A refutation will be sophistical if either the proof is only an apparent proof or the contradiction is only an apparent contradiction. Either way, according to Aristotle, there is a fallacy. The ideas here are first that there are arguments that appear to be better than they really are; and second that people inexperienced in arguments may mistake the appearance for the reality and thus be taken in by a bad argument or refutation.

Aristotle devotes considerable space to explaining how the appearance condition may arise.

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At the outset he mentions the argument that turns upon names SR 1 a6 , saying that it is the most prolific and usual explanation: because there are more things than names, some names will have to denote more than one thing, thereby creating the possibility of ambiguous terms and expressions.

That the ambiguous use of a term goes unnoticed allows the illusion that an argument is a real deduction. The explanation of how the false appearance can arise is in the similarity of words or expressions with different meanings, and the smallness of differences in meaning between some expressions SR 7 a23—b Aristotle discusses thirteen ways in which refutations can be sophistical and divides them into two groups. The first group, introduced in Chapter 4 of On Sophistical Refutations , includes those Aristotle considers dependent on language in dictione , and the second group, introduced in Chapter 5, includes those characterized as not being dependent on language extra dictionem.

Chapter 6 reviews all the fallacies from the view point of failed refutations, and Chapter 7 explains how the appearance of correctness is made possible for each fallacy.

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Chapters 19—30 advise answerers on how to avoid being taken in by sophistical refutations. The fallacies dependent on language are equivocation, amphiboly, combination of words, division of words, accent and form of expression. Of these the first two have survived pretty much as Aristotle thought of them. The one has to do with semantical ambiguity, the other with syntactical ambiguity. However, the way that Aristotle thought of the combination and division fallacies differs significantly from modern treatments of composition and division.

For division, Aristotle gives the example of the number 5: it is 2 and 3. But 2 is even and 3 is odd, so 5 is even and odd. Finally, the fallacy that Aristotle calls form of expression exploits the kind of ambiguity made possible by what we have come to call category mistakes, in this case, fitting words to the wrong categories.

Fallacies (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Category confusion was, for Aristotle, the key cause of metaphysical mistakes. There are seven kinds of sophistical refutation that can occur in the category of refutations not dependent on language: accident, secundum quid , consequent, non-cause, begging the question, ignoratio elenchi and many questions. It turns on his distinction between two kinds of predication, unique properties and accidents Top. What belongs to a thing are its unique properties which are counterpredicable Smith , 60 , i.

However, attributes that are accidents are not counterpredicates and to treat them as such is false reasoning, and can lead to paradoxical results; for example, if it is a property of triangles that they are equal to two right angles, and a triangle is accidentally a first principle, it does not follow that all first principles have two right angles see Schreiber , ch.

Aristotle considers the fallacy of consequent to be a special case of the fallacy of accident, observing that consequence is not convertible, i. This fallacy is sometimes claimed as being an early statement of the formal fallacy of affirming the consequent. The fallacy of secundum quid comes about from failing to appreciate the distinction between using words absolutely and using them with qualification.

It is because the difference between using words absolutely and with qualification can be minute that this fallacy is possible, thinks Aristotle. Begging the question is explained as asking for the answer the proposition which one is supposed to prove, in order to avoid having to make a proof of it.


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  • Some subtlety is needed to bring about this fallacy such as a clever use of synonymy or an intermixing of particular and universal propositions Top. VIII, If the fallacy succeeds the result is that there will be no deduction: begging the question and non-cause are directly prohibited by the second and third conditions respectively of being a deduction SR 6 b The fallacy of non-cause occurs in contexts of ad impossibile arguments when one of the assumed premises is superfluous for deducing the conclusion.

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    The superfluous premise will then not be a factor in deducing the conclusion and it will be a mistake to infer that it is false since it is a non-cause of the impossibility. This is not the same fallacy mentioned by Aristotle in the Rhetoric II 24 which is more akin to a fallacy of empirical causation and is better called false cause see Woods and Hansen Thus with a single answer to two questions one has two premises for a refutation , and one of them may turn out to be idle, thus invalidating the deduction it becomes a non-cause fallacy.

    Also possible is that extra-linguistic part-whole mistakes may happen when, for example, given that something is partly good and partly not-good, the double question is asked whether it is all good or all not-good? Either answer will lead to a contradiction see Schreiber , — Despite its name, this fallacy consists in the ensuing deduction, not in the question which merely triggers the fallacy.

    Seen this way, ignoratio elenchi is unlike all the other fallacies in that it is not an argument that fails to meet one of the criteria of a good deduction, but a genuine deduction that turns out to be irrelevant to the point at issue. Each of the other twelve fallacies is analysed as failing to meet one of the conditions in this definition of refutation SR 6. Aristotle seems to favour this second reading, but it leaves the problem of explaining how refutations that miss their mark can seem like successful refutations.

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    A possible explanation is that a failure to contradict a given thesis can be made explicit by adding the negation of the thesis as a last step of the deduction, thereby insuring the contradiction of the thesis, but only at the cost by the last step of introducing one of the other twelve fallacies in the deduction. To really understand them a much longer engagement with the original text and the secondary sources is necessary.

    This approach to the fallacies is continued in contemporary research by some argumentation theorists, most notably Douglas Walton who also follows Aristotle in recognizing a number of different kinds of dialogues in which argumentation can occur; Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst who combine dialectical and pragmatic insights with an ideal model of a critical discussion; and Jaakko Hintikka who analyses the Aristotelian fallacies as mistakes in question-dialogues Hintikka ; Bachman Francis Bacon deserves a brief mention in the history of fallacy theory, not because he made any direct contribution to our knowledge of the fallacies but because of his attention to prejudice and bias in scientific investigation, and the effect they could have on our beliefs.