Friday, March 2, 2012

Logical Fallacy of the Week; Week 26: Suppressed Correlative


Suppressed correlative

The fallacy of suppressed correlative is a type of argument that tries to redefine a correlative (one of two mutually exclusive options) so that one alternative encompasses the other, i.e. making one


A conceptual example:

Person 1: "All things are either X or not X." (The correlatives: X–not X.)
Person 2: "I define X such that all things that you claim are not X are included in X."

(The suppressed correlative: not X.)

Alternatively Person 2 can redefine X in way that instead concludes all things are not X.
A simple example based on one by Alexander Bain.

Person 1: "Things are either mysterious or not mysterious. Exactly when an earthquake will strike is still a mystery, but how blood circulates in the body is not."

Person 2: "Everything is mysterious. There are still things to be learned about how blood circulates."

There is more by way of explanation, follow the link.  RK


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