Inconsistency

(also known as: kettle logic [form of], internal contradiction [form of], logical inconsistency [form of])

Description: In terms of a fallacious argument, two or more propositions are asserted that cannot both possibly be true.  In a more general sense, holding two or more views/beliefs that cannot be all be true together.  Quotes from Yogi Berra (even if apocryphal) are great examples of fallacies, especially inconsistencies.

Example #1:

"I never said most of the things I said." - Yogi Berra

Explanation: I know this requires no explanation, and I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but for consistency's sake, I will explain.  If he had said those things, then he said them, which is a contradiction to his claim that he never said them.

Example #2:

"Nobody goes there anymore.  It's too crowded." - Yogi Berra

Explanation: Again, I apologize, but here it goes... If "nobody" went there, then it could not possibly be crowded, since "crowded" implies too many people are there.

Exception: One needs to be able to explain how the beliefs are not inconsistent.

Tip: Think about your beliefs.  Are there any inconsistent with each other?  With how you act and what you do?

Variation: The internal contradiction is a blatant contradiction in the same argument (thus “internal”).

I never had sexual relations with that woman -- but it sure was nice!

Kettle logic is usually multiple, contradicting arguments, supporting a single point.  In an example used by Sigmund Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams, a man accused by his neighbor of having returned a kettle in a damaged condition offered three arguments:

That he had returned the kettle undamaged;

That it was already damaged when he borrowed it;

That he had never borrowed it in the first place.

A logical inconsistency usually refers specifically to inconsistencies in formal, or deductive, logic.

Ted is older than Sam.  Bill is older than Ted. Sam is older than Bill.

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