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Genuine but Insignificant Cause

September 23rd, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Genuine but Insignificant Cause

classification : informal – causal fallacy

The object or event identified as the cause of an effect is a genuine cause, but insignificant when compared to the other causes of that event. The logical fallacy occurs where the cause of an event makes an insignificant contribution compared to that of other causes.

Foundations

Note that this fallacy does not apply when all other contributing causes are equally insignificant. Thus, it is not a fallacy to say that you helped cause defeat the Tory government because you voted Reform, for your vote had as much weight as any other vote, and hence is equally a part of the cause.

Examples

By leaving your oven on overnight you are contributing to global warming.

Smoking is causing air pollution in our cities. (compare that to pollution from transportation vehicles.)

Other Names

Non Causa Pro Causa

Sibling Fallacy: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

I knocked the building down by kicking it”, ignoring the huge wrecking ball that hit it at the same time.

Categories: Logic
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