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Wishful Thinking

October 8th, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Wishful Thinking

classification : informal – Red Herring – Appeal to Emotion

Believing something because of a desire – wish – that it be true. As a logical fallacy, Wishful Thinking is an argument whose premise expresses a desire for the conclusion to be true.

Foundations

A reasoner who suggests that a claim is true, or false, merely because he or she strongly hopes it is, is committing the fallacy of wishful thinking. Wishing something is true is not a relevant reason for claiming that it is actually true.

Examples

There’s got to be an error here in the history book. It says Thomas Jefferson had slaves. He was our best president, and a good president would never do such a thing. That would be awful.

Other Names

Appeal to Consequences
Emotional Appeal
Negative proof
Argument from ignorance
Cognitive Dissonance
Defense Mechanisms
Pygmalion Effect

Categories: Logic
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