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Fallacy Of Division

November 5th, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Fallacy Of Division

classification : informal – fallacies of ambiguity

Fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.

Foundations

The fallacy of division consists in assuming (wrongly) that a predicate that applies collectively must also apply distributively.

Examples

Starting with the Greek Philosophers, it was assumed that the atoms constituting a substance must themselves have the salient observed properties of that substance: so atoms of water would be wet, atoms of iron would be hard, atoms of wool would be soft, etc. This doctrine is called homeomeria, and it plainly depends on the fallacy of division.

Bill lives in a large building, so his apartment must be large.

Other Names

Note: The converse of this fallacy is called fallacy of composition.

Note: On Sophistical Refutations – Translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge

Categories: Logic
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