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Old 12th March 2012, 04:55 AM   #1
sphenisc
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Fallacy of overspecificity?

In a statement like

"Black people commit a lot of crime."
or
"Atheists do lots of good works."
a property is ascribed to a specific group with the veiled implication that it is less true of a broader group to which they belong. Is there a formal name for this implied fallacy?

Cheers
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Old 12th March 2012, 05:25 AM   #2
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I'm not sure but you may have used a fallacy just by asking that question. But I emphasise the part about me not being sure.
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Old 12th March 2012, 05:30 AM   #3
aggle-rithm
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
In a statement like

"Black people commit a lot of crime."
or
"Atheists do lots of good works."
a property is ascribed to a specific group with the veiled implication that it is less true of a broader group to which they belong. Is there a formal name for this implied fallacy?

Cheers
I don't know if either statement has enough explicit meaning to be a fallacy. But I would say these are statements with hidden agendas. Possibly.
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Old 12th March 2012, 05:49 AM   #4
sphenisc
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This is the closest I can find - unfortunately I can't find any other references to "Fallacy of False Implication"

http://www.skepdic.com/refuge/ctlessons/lesson12.html
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:03 AM   #5
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I think this may be what you mean:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:13 AM   #6
sphenisc
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Originally Posted by azzthom View Post
I think this may be what you mean:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization
It's almost the exact opposite - hasty generalisation involves making a statement about a set possesses a property based on an insufficiently large subset. I'm talking about implying the larger set doesn't have the property ascribed to the subset. A hasty anti-generalisation.
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:15 AM   #7
Lord Emsworth
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I don't think there is a fallacy there. And I am not sure there actually could be, since fallacies can only be made if there is reasoning involved, if there are conclusions to be drawn. But that is not the case here, because what you have shown are statements, which could be true or false though.

The only way for there to be a fallacy would be in a bigger context where the statements made, are used to *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* ... You would have to correctly identify the intention(s) behind the statements made.

Last edited by Lord Emsworth; 12th March 2012 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
It's almost the exact opposite - hasty generalisation involves making a statement about a set possesses a property based on an insufficiently large subset. I'm talking about implying the larger set doesn't have the property ascribed to the subset. A hasty anti-generalisation.
The opposite fallacy is named on the page. It's called 'Slothful induction'.
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:21 AM   #9
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Could be a combination of two fallacies.

It starts with the informal fallacy of one-sidedness, because they're presenting one side of the argument (eg, black people commit a lot of crime), while deliberately omitting the obvious counter-argument (eg, white people commit a lot of crime), and leaving it to the audience to use that skewed information to commit the fallacy of hasty generalization Volvo fallacy.

ETA: Volvo fallacy fits better than Hasty Generalization.
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by azzthom View Post
The opposite fallacy is named on the page. It's called 'Slothful induction'.
Slothful induction is the failure to draw an appropriate conclusion when there is sufficient evidence. It's a different kind of "opposite".
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Old 12th March 2012, 06:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lord Emsworth View Post
I don't think there is a fallacy there. And I am not sure there actually could be, since fallacies can only be made if there is reasoning involved, if there are conclusions to be drawn. But that is not the case here, because what you have shown are statements, which could be true or false though.

The only way for there to be a fallacy would be in a bigger context where the statements made, are used to *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* ... You would have to correctly identify the intention(s) behind the statements made.
That's what I meant by "veiled implication".
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Old 12th March 2012, 07:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
In a statement like

"Black people commit a lot of crime."
or
"Atheists do lots of good works."
a property is ascribed to a specific group with the veiled implication that it is less true of a broader group to which they belong. Is there a formal name for this implied fallacy?

Cheers
Your premise depends on context. And while there may be some fallacies involved it is 'framing' that you are talking about. That is, framing a statement to imply some additional unspoken thing or slanting the statement so as to have it heard a specific way.

For example, tax relief implies one needs relief from being over taxed while tax cut does not have that same implication. Teach the controversy (typically applied to evolution theory) implies there is a controversy.

In your examples, "black people commit a lot of crime", has stronger inherent framing, meaning it triggers many previously established beliefs. Atheists doing good works could be a reply to some claim morality comes from religion thus the triggered reaction depends more on context.
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Old 12th March 2012, 07:09 AM   #13
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Based on all the replies so far, I think the best I can do is to suggest that what was described in the OP was 'hasty generalisation by implication'. Which would obviously still be 'hasty generalisation', since an inference is being drawn about a set based on a flawed assessment of a subset. A conclusion from insufficient evidence.
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