Correlative-based fallacies

In logic, correlative-based fallacies, also known as fallacies of distraction, are logical fallacies based on correlative conjunctions.

A correlative conjunction is a relationship between two statements where one must be false and the other true. In formal logic this is known as the exclusive or relationship; traditionally, terms between which this relationship exists have been called contradictories. Examples of correlatives are:

A: Object one is larger than object two.
B: Object one is smaller or the same size as object two.

A: Fido is a dog.
B: Fido is not a dog.

Fallacies based on correlatives include:

  • The false dilemma or false correlative. Here something which is not a correlative is treated as a correlative, excluding some other possibility.
  • The fallacy of denying the correlative, where an attempt is made to introduce another option into a true correlative.
  • The fallacy of suppressed correlative, where the definitions of a correlative are changed so that one of the options includes the other, making one option impossible.

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