Fallacy Essay - Hypothesis Contrary to Fact

Topics: Critical thinking, Logic, Scientific method Pages: 2 (759 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Hypothesis Contrary to Fact

Since the first man walked this earth, we have been trying to understand why everything is the way it is. Why do things work the way they do? What happens if you put this with that? Humans have always been determined to learn and understand everything they can. As a result, the knowledge that beings have acquired and the patterns in subjects have come to be facts. These facts show the definite ways that objects, persons, and events function. After studying, one can determine results and learn to comprehend things that happen every day such as choices made and their outcomes. But what if the alternative would have been selected? Can one identify what the outcome for that selection would have been? In other words, can we determine the “ifs” and “maybes” through the knowledge we have acquired?

Hypothesis contrary to fact, the fallacy, questions claims made with certainty about what would have happened if a past event or condition would have been different from what is actually was. Fallacies are errors in logical reasoning, or when an arguments language is wrong or vague. However, many of these errors aren’t determined in the argument until they are analyzed because they appear to “look good”. There are numerous types of fallacies: informal fallacies, formal fallacies, fallacies of ambiguity, fallacies of presumption, and fallacies of relevance. There are ways to think about these fallacies: speculatively, analytically/critically, and normatively. Under hypothesis contrary to fact, hypothetical situations are treated as facts although it is a poorly supported claim. An example of this fallacy is “If my dad hadn’t won the lottery ticket, my parents would have been divorced” or “If I had bitten into that jawbreaker, my tooth would have fallen out”. In both of these examples, an alternate outcome is being determined through supposition s through the use of prior knowledge and experience. For example, perhaps the person’s parents...
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