Logical Fallacies

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Logical Fallacies

Postby arki_shw » Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:26 pm

Fallacies are defects in an argument that cause it to be invalid, unsound, or weak. In a deductive argument, the existence of a fallacy means that the argument is not valid - even if the premises are true, the conclusion might still be false. A fallacy does not guarantee it is false; a fallacious argument fails to provide a good reason to believe the conclusion, even if that conclusion is correct.

Logical fallacy refers to the formal fallacy. A flaw in the structure of a deductive argument which renders the argument invalid. However, it is often used more generally in informal discourse to mean an argument which is invalid for any reason, and thus encompasses informal fallacies – those which are invalid for reasons other than structural flaws, such as an error in the premises – as well as formal fallacies.

However, what is the importance of logical fallacy in our life? Does it consist any value in Architecture? Any classic or contemporary example can anybody let me know please? :confused:
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Re: Logical Fallacies

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:11 am

"Logical fallacies".....hmmmm Are there non-logical fallacies? or are there logical non-fallacies?

A.A: Luce's (TCD) little book "Logic" was a little gem, much better than Wikipedia!


Matteo Dell'Amico provides this feature in Italian

Ad Hominem
Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
Appeal to Authority
Appeal to Belief
Appeal to Common Practice
Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Fear
Appeal to Flattery
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Pity
Appeal to Popularity
Appeal to Ridicule
Appeal to Spite
Appeal to Tradition
Begging the Question
Biased Sample
Burden of Proof
Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Confusing Cause and Effect
False Dilemma
Gambler's Fallacy
Genetic Fallacy
Guilt By Association
Hasty Generalization
Ignoring A Common Cause
Middle Ground
Misleading Vividness
Personal Attack
Poisoning the Well
Post Hoc
Questionable Cause
Red Herring
Relativist Fallacy
Slippery Slope
Special Pleading
Straw Man
Two Wrongs Make A Right
Dr. Michael C. Labossiere, the author of a Macintosh tutorial named Fallacy Tutorial Pro 3.0, has kindly agreed to allow the text of his work to appear on the Nizkor site, as a Nizkor Feature. It remains © Copyright 1995 Michael C. Labossiere, with distribution restrictions -- please see our copyright notice. If you have questions or comments about this work, please direct them both to the Nizkor webmasters (webmaster@nizkor.org) and to Dr. Labossiere (ontologist@aol.com).

Other sites that list and explain fallacies include:

Constructing a Logical Argument
Description of Fallacies
In order to understand what a fallacy is, one must understand what an argument is. Very briefly, an argument consists of one or more premises and one conclusion. A premise is a statement (a sentence that is either true or false) that is offered in support of the claim being made, which is the conclusion (which is also a sentence that is either true or false).

There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) complete support for the conclusion. An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) some degree of support (but less than complete support) for the conclusion. If the premises actually provide the required degree of support for the conclusion, then the argument is a good one. A good deductive argument is known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true. If all the argument is valid and actually has all true premises, then it is known as a sound argument. If it is invalid or has one or more false premises, it will be unsound. A good inductive argument is known as a strong (or "cogent") inductive argument. It is such that if the premises are true, the conclusion is likely to be true.

A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. A deductive fallacy is a deductive argument that is invalid (it is such that it could have all true premises and still have a false conclusion). An inductive fallacy is less formal than a deductive fallacy. They are simply "arguments" which appear to be inductive arguments, but the premises do not provided enough support for the conclusion. In such cases, even if the premises were true, the conclusion would not be more likely to be true.

Examples of Fallacies

Inductive Argument
Premise 1: Most American cats are domestic house cats.
Premise 2: Bill is an American cat.
Conclusion: Bill is domestic house cat.

Factual Error
Columbus is the capital of the United States.

Deductive Fallacy
Premise 1: If Portland is the capital of Maine, then it is in Maine.
Premise 2: Portland is in Maine.
Conclusion: Portland is the capital of Maine.
(Portland is in Maine, but Augusta is the capital. Portland is the largest city in Maine, though.)

Inductive Fallacy
Premise 1: Having just arrived in Ohio, I saw a white squirrel.
Conclusion: All Ohio Squirrels are white.
(While there are many, many squirrels in Ohio, the white ones are very rare).
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Re: Logical Fallacies

Postby arki_shw » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:21 pm

thanks for that!
But what is the relevance of Logical Fallacy in Architecture?
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Re: Logical Fallacies

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:59 am

On that subject, pace Ludwig von Wittgenstein, let us firstly define our terms, for that of which we know not - we cannot speak. !
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Re: Logical Fallacies

Postby ctesiphon » Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:55 am

I tried posting this reply last night but when I hit 'send' I lost it. Then I had a dream about it.:eek: Here's hoping that it's more successful this time (and that I remember what I was trying to say).

First up, I'm not sure I understand your question, but one interpretation could be that you think the concept of logical fallacy can be applied to architectural theory or practice. This brought to mind the essay/pamphlet 'The two-way stretch- modernism, tradition and innovation' by Robert Maxwell (Academy Editions, London, 1996, especially p.23ff.) where the author discusses, among other things, architecture as a branch of technology. Two quotes in particular are of relevance:

'The ideology of functionalism, which was discovered and named around 1920 as a procedure and a style, had the great appeal for architects of releasing them from artistic responsibility. They did not have to justify the forms they used as arising through introspection or the exercise of a sensibility; these forms were seen as simply the natural consequence of logical thinking and scientific facts. They were accorded an objective status. Smart thinking, not fine feeling, was the source of the New. Architects could appeal to an empirical reality as something which required a particular outcome, and that outcome was beyond question.' (p.31)


'In Britain, especially, this approach has been successful, because people are not happy to think of architects as artists, or of architecture as an art. Most people prefer to regard architecture as a branch of technology and for it to be entirely justifiable by empirical reasons.' (p.32)

If I'm understanding you correctly, arki_shw (and this is by no means guaranteed:) ), you seem to see architecture as in some way programmatic (in logic terminology 'deductive'), i.e. from certain premises certain conclusions can be drawn; the 'logical fallacy' aspect thus being where an architect arrives at a conclusion that is not derived from the brief (or rather, from a narrow interpretation of the brief). This is a view of architecture with which I can't agree.
In some respects this strikes me as similar to the difference between the puzzle of Sudoku and the Asian board game of Go- in Sudoku there is only one answer to the puzzle, arrived at by a process of elimination, whereas in Go the game is an act of creativity (it is estimated that there are 10^{7.49 \times 10^{48}} possible games on a board- that's 10 to the power of {7.49 times 10 to the power of 48}- but I'm getting off my point). This is why Sudoku, for me, quickly became tiresome, whereas Go never will. In a similar way, the value of architecture lies in the very differences of interpretation that different architects bring to each project- otherwise, if architecture truly was an 'information in - result out' procedure, any project could be carried out by any architect, with each being fully interchangeable. Clearly this isn't the case, and it's what makes architecture an art rather than a 'branch of technology'.

Apologies if I got carried away towards the end there, but a) I'm still not sure I fully understand you, b) it's late, c) I've a dose of the flu, and d) I've had a couple of large hot whiskeys (purely medicinal, of course;) ). If I've misunderstood, please clarify and I'll give it more thought.

One other possibility is that you're talking about the need for architects to be able to relate their results to their brief in a causal way- something I've noticed among architects of my acquaintance (I'm not an architect) is their fear of what they call 'post-rationalisation', i.e. designing something and then trying to connect it back to their original brief. This is similar to my previous point, but different too. But I've said enough for now.
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