Accused of a fallacy? Suspect a fallacy? Ask Dr. Bo and the community!

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases!
Register!

one moment please...



Rationalization

(also known as: making excuses)

Description: Offering false or inauthentic excuses for our claim because we know the real reasons are much less persuasive or more embarrassing to share, or harsher than the manufactured ones given.

Logical Form:

Reason A is given for claim B, although reason A is not the real reason.

Example #1:

I can’t go with you to that opera because I have a deadline at work coming up, plus I need to wash my hair that night.

Explanation: The real reason is, “I don’t want to go”, but that might hurt some feelings, so manufactured reasons (excuses) are given in place of the authentic and honest reason.

Example #2:

I believe in winged horses because the Koran is historically accurate and would never get such an important fact wrong.

Explanation: The person actually believes in winged horses out of faith, but recognizes that is not a persuasive argument -- especially to the non-believer of Islam.  Out of the desire to hold on to his faith, he adopts a common defense (historical accuracy) and gives that as the reason.

Exception: Is it acceptable to rationalize to protect someone’s feelings?  I will leave that to you to answer, realizing that all situations are unique.

Tip: Whenever possible, give honest reasons stated in diplomatic ways.

References:

Fallacies | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#Rationalization



Registered User Comments


Become a Logical Fallacy Master. Choose Your Poison.

Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.

Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:


Not Much of a Reader? No Problem!

Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!

Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.

Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.


About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo
 Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.