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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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brandy

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brandy


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politicians
tu quoque
Wed, Feb 06, 2019 - 04:01 PM

Tu Quoque variant?

Argument: Politician A (political party A) is immoral because of certain actions against groups of other people, and attacks made on politician B (political party B).
Response: Politician B (political party B) is a hypocrite because they have taken immoral actions against other groups of people, and have made similar attacks on politician A (political party A).

Originally I was thinking tu quoque - the respondent never supported the argument that politician A was either moral or immoral; they attacked the character of politician B instead. However, politician B wasn't the one making the argument - I was. A standard tu quoque fallacy would have been directed towards my hypocrisy.

Is this a tu quoque variant, or a different fallacy altogether?



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3 Answers

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William Harpine, Ph.D.

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William Harpine, Ph.D.


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Print Wed, Feb 06, 2019 - 05:11 PM
Sure sounds like a variation on tu quoque. There are lots of variants; e.g., Nazi admirals said unrestricted submarine warfare wasn't immoral b/c the Americans did it too, and everyone knows Americans are moral, and therefore it was OK.
Paul Krugman calls a variation on the quo quoque fallacy "bothsidesism," which makes sense. That's the mistake of saying that we need to attack both sides equally, regardless of whether the other side is guilty.
In any case, we surely hear lots of hypocrisy from politicians, do we not?
Howard Kahane points out that two wrongs don't make a right, which should settle all of those disputes.


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Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

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Michael Chase Walker

Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Master Contributor

About Michael Chase Walker

Michael Chase Walker is an actor, author, screenwriter, producer, and a former adjunct lecturer for the College of Santa Fe Moving Images Department, and Dreamworks Animation. His first motion picture was the animated classic, The Last Unicorn.
Michael was an in-house television writer for the hit television series: He-Man, She-Ra, Voltron, and V, the Series. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Children's programs for CBS Entertainment where he conceived, shaped and supervised the entire 1985 Saturday Morning line-up: Wildfire, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Galaxy High School, Teen Wolf, and over 10
Print Wed, Feb 06, 2019 - 05:15 PM
It's still a tu quoque (whataboutism) variant whether they implicate you directly or not. Remember, it's a fallacy of distraction and not a direct response to the original argument. If they accused you of being hypocritical by overlooking B's actions towards A it could possibly qualify as an ad hominem tu quoque.


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Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Master Contributor

Print Wed, Feb 06, 2019 - 05:35 PM
"In any case, we surely hear lots of hypocrisy from politicians, do we not?
Howard Kahane points out that two wrongs don't make a right, which should settle all of those disputes."

Isn't that a classic Ipse Dixit fallacy? Haha!


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