Logical Fallacies—Assets and Impediments—the Fauceir Stance

post hoc-propter hoc fallacy

Logical fallacies are a typical example of fauceirs as they clearly embrace the dualism of information and control, and as such they are not simply good for cheating or bad for rational discussions. They have evolved and carved out a niche for themselves in communication and decision making, so a rational analysis of logical fallacies has to set off advantages and drawbacks. I’m well aware about fierce protests of those who deny any usefulness in the realm of rationality, but please allow to explain my point in further detail.

As discussed before, two aspects of fauceirs may be analysed separately:
1.the impact on the signaling cascade
2.the imprecision that is added to this signaling cascade

ad 1) The impact on the signaling cascade is that the so called logical fallacies significantly reduce and improve the signaling cascade by abridging complex evaluations.
For illustration the post-hoc-propter-hoc fallacy. As our experiences show that in many cases the sequence of events also signifies causality, for some decisions, it is enough to know the sequence and not the causality. For instance, if the administration of a new medication is followed by serious complications, we would be much more careful to administer it again even if unaware about the causality.
Next illustration the appeal-to-authority fallacy. Nobody is capable to muster all the scientific evidence, so we have to rely on experts of some sort.

Ad 2) Abridging complex evaluations might be useful in some instances, but can lead to wrong conclusions elsewhere. Examples are abundant when doctrines have been used to misguide people. Some are listed here, but we have to be aware that almost every faith is misusable that way.

Finally, someone may counter that the term logical fallacy is reserved for cheating on logical discussions only. I generally agree, but my intention was to make clear that this cheating is rooted in useful developments of our thinking. Cheating is a natural by-product of every fauceir’s imprecision.


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