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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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Jacob

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Jacob


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Wed, Nov 07, 2018 - 04:34 PM

Is money concrete or abstract?

A while ago my dad gave me a fifty dollar bill and told me to spend it on groceries. Later in the day I spent fifty dollars on gas. My dad protested, saying that he wanted me to spend that 50 dollars on groceries.

I was puzzled by this. If I my dad gives me fifty dollars and I use the exact same note to buy gas this kind of makes sense, but it should't matter. It depends on how you think of money. Is money a physical note like paper currency or it is an abstract number like your money in your bank account? Two fifty dollar notes are different, because they are made of different atoms, were minted at different times, in various states of wear. Money in the bank has no such discriminating features; it is just an abstract number.

My dad's complaint would have made less sense if he had given me one 50 dollar note and I had used a different 50 dollar note to pay for gas. I could mark the one my dad gave me and say, "I am saving the note you gave me for groceries", but if money is just an abstract number denoting wealth having no physical existence, then that 50 dollars could have been spent on the groceries or the gas.

The confusion between myself and my dad was that I thought of physical notes as loosing their identity when they go in my wallet, like they do at the bank.

If my dad deposits 50 dollars in my bank account and then tells me to spend that 50 dollars on groceries then my dad's logic makes even less sense. Money in the bank is an abstract number. I can't look in my bank account and fish out the exact 50 dollars that he originally deposited in my bank account.

So 50 dollars cash is the same as fifty dollars in my bank account, but also different. Is it a fallacy speak of digital money as if it is physical and vice versa?



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skips777

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skips777


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Print Wed, Nov 07, 2018 - 07:05 PM
Admit it, you spent 50 bucks on the newly legal cannabis in your state. Smoked it, then decided to type this post...I get it. I've been there. You are definitely a better grocery shopper when you have the munchies.....
p.s. My response is totally to deflect away from the issue because I too spent some bread on newly legalized pot in my state and am currently too blitzed to follow what you're asking...However, I do know you can buy concrete with paper money or bank account money.


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Jim Tarsi

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Jim Tarsi


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Print Thu, Nov 08, 2018 - 10:18 AM
I think money in general is an abstract concept. Societies incorporated money to simplify bartering, where two pounds of wheat was two pounds of wheat and a goat was a goat. Money is a representation of wealth; people no longer need to carry around wheat or goats to trade. They can use the value of the wheat or goats instead.

Was your father protesting because you didn't spend money on groceries at all, that instead you spent it on gas? That would make the argument:

I gave you $50 to spend on groceries.
You spent $50 on gas.
You spent nothing on groceries.
Therefore, you didn't do as I asked.

In that case, whether money is abstract or concrete makes no difference. Your father gave you $50 in exchange for groceries (that he was essentially going to give right back to you), and you had no groceries.


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Colin P
Friday, November 09, 2018 - 04:10:17 PM
You might say that a gift with strings attached is not a gift at all, it's an exchange. Perhaps your dad thought he was offering an exchange and you thought he was offering a gift.

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Jacob
Thursday, November 08, 2018 - 02:03:35 PM
@Jim Tarsi: What if my dad gives me 50 dollars, then I use the same 50 dollar bill to buy gas, but then later I spend a different 50 dollar bill on groceries? I did not spend the exact 50 dollar note on groceries, but I did spend 50 dollars on groceries. In my mind the 50 dollar bill transformed into the 50 dollars in the bank which I used to pay for the groceries.

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Jim Tarsi
Thursday, November 08, 2018 - 04:47:32 PM
In that case, I would say your father gave you $50 to buy groceries, you bought groceries, so the "contract" was fulfilled.

The argument would be:

I gave you $50 to buy groceries.
You bought groceries.
However, you didn't use the $50 I gave you to buy groceries.
Therefore, you didn't do what I asked.

Logically, I don't think that article is valid, because money is liquid. (I think that's the technical term, and better than "abstract;" once money enters a pot, it becomes indistinguishable from other money.) And legally, I don't think your father would have a case. (And if he did win, what would the settlement be?)

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Jacob
Thursday, November 08, 2018 - 01:09:45 AM
@skips777: yes. Concrete recently became legal in my state.

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skips777
Thursday, November 08, 2018 - 02:53:34 PM
Lol

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