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Slippery Slope

September 22nd, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Slippery Slope

classification : informal – fallacies of distraction

An error of presumption in which one ignores all other reasonable alternatives.

Assertion that any change from the status quo in a given direction will produce a cascading effect leading to an undesirable outcome.

Commonly stated as an assertive imperative in the form: balancing precariously on a slippery slope.

Foundations

The argument contend that event A will trigger a chain reaction of events leading, eventually, to an undesirable event. Considered fallacious if it is used as the primary tool to prove a point. When the proposition within an argument claims, but fails to explain, how change will cause a reversal, or cascade into a series of unwanted events.

Examples

Best never to give anyone a break. If you do, they’ll walk all over you.

We have to stop the tuition increase! The next thing you know, they’ll be charging $100,000 a semester.

Other Names

Argument of the Beard

Fallacy of the Beard

Camel’s Nose fallacy

Categories: Logic
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