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Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

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DrBill

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DrBill


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Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - 09:53 AM

Quora is a Q/A site. Can you comment on the fallac(y,ies) in the question shown?

Why aren't materials with the highest melting points also the strongest materials since both traits depend on having strong bonds between atoms?

I thought this question would be a refreshing change of pace. Those who answered had to find the fallacy and work around it. Can you see the fallacy?



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Hephy

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Hephy


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Print Mon, Aug 12, 2019 - 08:00 PM
I'm curious why this required finding a fallacy to answer. If I consider the following assumptions true:

Materials with high melting points must have strong bonds between their atoms.
Strong materials must have strong bonds between their atoms.
The strongest materials are not the materials with highest melting points.

The logical conclusion is that the strength of the bond between atoms isn't the sole determining factor for either of those traits, and there is at least one other factor that is critical to at least one of them.


Or, is that the fallacy in a nutshell? The belief that because A is necessary for B, then A implies B?


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Rich McMahon
Ye Olde Logician

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Rich McMahon

Ye Olde Logician

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About Rich McMahon

Retired Chemist, Fortune 500 Co. Exec., and Wall St. i-Banker. Now a fledgling Playwright & lyricist. Currently living la Vida Meditativo on a mountain in CO.
Print Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - 11:32 AM
One apparent fallacy lies in the absence of providing a definition for "strongest". In Materials Science, strongest could be a proxy for either tensile strength, hardness, toughness, etc.
The selected definition directly impacts the conclusion. For example, diamond is regarded as a very hard mineral, having exceedingly high resistance to scratching and a keen ability to score other materials. However, diamond burns readily and will shatter upon impact, e.g., upon being struck by a hammer. The element Tungsten has a high tensile strength and also a very high melting point; this would then illustrate the relationship between high bond strength and melting points. Alloys such as Maraging Steel, having high tensile strength and melting points, also illustrate this.

If however, one makes the simplifying assumption that "strongest" refers exclusively to tensile strength, then one must recognize that while melting point and tensile strength of different materials are highly correlated, they are not directly (or absolutely) correlated. (Certain Polymeric materials such as nylon have high tensile strengths yet low melting points.) Thus implicit, is the fact that there are other (or more nuanced) forces than bond strength at play.

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Author of Logically Fallacious

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Author of Logically Fallacious

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About Bo Bennett, PhD

Bo's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime."  Much of his charitable work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think.  His projects include his book, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, and Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies.  Bo's personal blog is called Relationship With Reason, where he writes about several topics related to critical thinking.  His secular (humanistic) philosophy is detailed at PositiveHumanism.com.
Bo is currently the producer and host of The Humanist Hour, the official broadcast of the American Humanist Association, where he can be heard weekly discussing a variety of humanistic issued, mostly related to science, psychology, philosophy, and critical thinking.

Full bio can be found at http://www.bobennett.com
Print Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - 11:38 AM
Why aren't materials with the highest melting points also the strongest materials since both traits depend on having strong bonds between atoms?

Perhaps playing Captain Obvious here, but it is begging the question (actually double). The question assumes 1) materials with the highest melting points aren't also the strongest materials and 2) both traits depend on having strong bonds between atoms.
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William Harpine, Ph.D.

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William Harpine, Ph.D.


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Print Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - 01:41 PM
I'll pass. Ask a chemist!

Good thought-provoking question, though.


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