Quickly register to comment, Ask questions, and/or keep up to date on new fallacies.

one moment please...

Confusing an Explanation with an Excuse

  Get the Book!

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

Get It!

Description: Treating an explanation of a fact as if it were a justification of the fact, a valid reason for the fact, or evidence for the fact.

Logical Form:

X is asked to be justified.

X is explained in detail.

Therefore, X is justified.

Example #1:

Mrs. Crabtree: Your child, Mrs. Martin, is rude to me and shows me no respect.

Mrs. Martin: That’s because he thinks you are a “poo-poo faced bag lady who hates little kids”.

Mrs. Crabtree: That is no excuse for his behavior!

Mrs. Martin: No, it’s just a fact.

Explanation: In this case, Mrs. Crabtree committed the fallacy by incorrectly thinking Mrs. Martin’s fact was meant to be a justification, when it was not.

Example #2:

Virgil: How do you justify the claim that Bigfoot is the missing link between the great apes and humans?

Marshall: Well, a "missing link" is the intermediary species between the two in the evolutionary process.

Explanation: Marshall simply explained what a missing link is; he did not give a valid reason for why he believes that Bigfoot is the missing link.

Exception: If it is clear to both parties that no justification attempt is being made, but rather just stating a fact, then this fallacy is not being committed.

Tip: If you are unsure if someone is trying to make an excuse or simply stating a fact, ask them.  Don’t assume.

Registered User Comments

Privacy Policy Technical Support
 Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.