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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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Juris anquilo

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Juris anquilo


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hasty generalization
sweeping generalization
Mon, Jan 26, 2015 - 03:31 AM

What is the difference between hasty generalization and sweeping generalization?




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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 Mon, Jan 26, 2015 - 08:06 AM
They are essentially the inverse of each other. A sweeping generalization is applying a general rule to a specific instance (without proper evidence), and a hasty generalization is applying a specific rule to a general situation (without proper evidence). For example:

You get what you pay for. Therefore, it is better to spend $200 on that t-shirt at that boutique shop than buy the same one at Marshall's for $29.


This is an example of the sweeping generalization. Generally "you get what you pay for" might be a good rule, but it certainly does not apply to all situations, and attempting to make it fit to all situations without proper consideration (or evidence) is fallacious.

That $29 shirt at Marshall's is a great deal, therefore, everything at Marshall's is a great deal.

In this one instance, the $29 shirt that we know goes for $200 in the department stores is a great deal. However, to conclude that because of this, everything that Marshall's sells is a great deal, is an example of the hasty generalization fallacy. In fact, this is what marketers do. They have what is called a "loss leader" where they lose money on a product or service just to bring people in and get them to commit this fallacy, ultimately spending a lot more on their overpriced items.
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