A false statement is a statement that can be either willfully or unknowingly untrue. Though "fallacy" is often used as a synonym for "false statement" this is not what is meant by "fallacy" in logic or most formal contexts.
A false statement need not be a lie. A lie is a statement that is known to be untrue and is used to mislead. A false statement is a statement that is untrue but not necessarily told to mislead, as a statement given by someone who does not know it is untrue.
Examples of false statements
- A Misleading Statement (Lie): John told his little brother that sea otters aren't mammals, but fish, even though John himself was a marine biologist and knew otherwise. John simply wanted to see his little brother fail his class report, in order to teach him to begin projects early, which help him develop skills necessary to succeed in life
- A Statement Made Out Of Ignorance: James, John's brother, stated in his class report that sea otters were fish. James got an F after his teacher pointed out why that statement was false. James did not know that sea otters were in fact mammals because he heard that sea otters were fish from his older brother John, a marine biologist.
In some jurisdictions
, false statement is a crime
similar to perjury