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Post Hoc Fallacy (Post Hoc, Ergo Procter Hoc)

September 22nd, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Post Hoc Fallacy

classification : informal – non causa pro causa

A principle that holds true as a general rule applied to a specific case that is unusual or atypical.

Because one thing follows another, it is held to cause the other.


Occurs frequently in the media and in political campaigns, and are also probably responsible for many contemporary and classical superstitions. Our tendency to slip into this mode of thinking seems to stem from our mind’s efforts to interpret the world in terms of cause-and-effect relationships.


Jim said he is smarter than David but failed to prove it. Therefore his argument ( assertion ) is logically flawed. Claiming something does not make it true. Failing to prove that Unicorns do not exist, affirms that they do exist If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law.

Other Names:

false cause
coincidental correlation
correlation not causation.

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Categories: Logic