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

one moment please...




Definist Fallacy

  Get the Book!


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


Get It!

(also known as: persuasive definition fallacy, redefinition)

Description: Defining a term in such a way that makes one’s position much easier to defend.

Logical Form:

A has definition X.

X is harmful to my argument.

Therefore, A has definition Y.

Example #1:

Before we argue about the truth of creationism, let’s define creationism as, “The acceptance of a set of beliefs even more ridiculous than those of flat-earthers.”

Example #2:

Before we argue about the truth of creationism, let’s define evolution as, “Faith in a crackpot theory that is impossible to prove with certainty.”

Explanation: It should be clear by the two examples who is defending what position.  Both arguers are taking the opportunity to define a term as a way to take a cheap shot at the opponent.  In some cases, they might actually hope their definition is accepted, which would make it very easy to defend, compared to the actual definition.

Exception: When a definition used is really an accurate definition from credible sources, regardless of the damage it might do to a position.

Tip: Do not accept definitions put forth by the opponent unless you researched your definition on your own, and agree.

References:

Bunnin, N., & Yu, J. (2008). The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons.



Registered User Comments



 Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.