Thank Poseidon It's Friday!
|"Keep the noise down or I'll unleash a Kraken on your ass."|
The Other Side of the CoinYesterday I wrote about the ubiquity of the fallacy of composition in modern discourse, the tendency to tar all members of a group with the transgressions of an individual member of that group. It is a tempting mistake to make, of course, as I noted yesterday, but it is still a logical fallacy.
Naturally, there is an obverse of the composition fallacy: The fallacy of division. It occurs in rhetorical situations where an advocate attempts to connect some attitude or belief associated (by the advocate) with a group to a particular member of that group. Examples:
If I didn't make it clear yesterday, drawing these sorts of inferences isn't ALWAYS a fallacy. It is, in fact, reasonable to infer certain things about someone who self-identifies as, say, a Catholic (as I do). It is trickier when trying to go the other direction, to infer things about a group based on its constituent members, but it can be reasonable to do so if one is careful.“Conservatives are against higher taxes, so of course you are, too.”“Progressives hate guns, so your support for gun control is no surprise.”
That said, I find that such inferences more often than not are an attempt to avoid discussing the substance of a particular issue. Saying things like "I should know better than to expect a conservative to understand," or "Why are progressives always so hostile to facts?" doesn't advance the cause of sweet reason. So cut it out, okay?
National Doughnut Day
|Krispy Kreme Baseball Doughnut|
In case you didn't know, today is National Doughnut Day, and most of the national chains (Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, LaMar's, Winchell's) have some sort of free doughnut promotion going on.
|"You know you're not supposed to eat things like that, right?"|
Happy Birthday, Adam Smith!
|"Wouldst I enjoy a free lunch? Why yes, I...wait..I seeth what thou didst there."|
I consider Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments to be one of the great works of modern philosophy. Happy 292nd, sir...
Attention, Senator Whitehouse
|"You have freedom of speech, provided you agree with me."|
Does your concern about the ethics of climate advocacy extend to dishonest scientists grubbing for government research dollars? No? Gosh, I'm shocked...