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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Logical Fallacy of the Week, Week 53: Ignoratio elenchi

Ignoratio elenchi, also known as irrelevant conclusion, is the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may or may not be logically valid, but fails nonetheless to address the issue in question.  Ignoratio elenchi falls into the broad class of relevance fallacies.  It is one of the fallacies identified by Aristotle in his Organon. In a broader sense he asserted that all fallacies are a form of ignoratio elenchi…..A related concept is that of the red herring, which is a deliberate attempt to divert a process of enquiry by changing the subject. Ignoratio elenchi is sometimes confused with straw man argument. For example, it has been described as "attacking what the other fellow never said" by Peter Jay in an article in a 1996 article in New Statesman.   To Read More

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