Oct 6, 2011

Posted by in Fallacy of the Week | 0 Comments

Fallacy of the Week – Equivocation

Equivocation _ altering semantics. Transitioning from one definition of a word to another within an argument.

Example:

Teaching people Logic helps them argue more effectively. It’s too bad that people argue so much. We shouldn’t encourage arguments.

Notice how the definition of the word “argue” was shifted. First, it refers to making a rational statement. I would “argue” that 1+1=2, for example. Next, the definition of argue is shifted to mean a bitter exchange of irrational outbursts. The fallacious conclusion is that teaching and using Logic causes fights.

In order to counter equivocation in an argument, simply ask for a definition. More information brings about better resolution when getting the facts straight.

 

 

 

 

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