Dicto simpliciter

A dicto simpliciter (Latin: "from a maxim without qualification" -- meaning 'from a universal rule') or ad Dictum simpliciter (Latin: "to a maxim without qualification" -- meaning 'to a universal rule') are Latin phrases for a type of logical fallacy. The a (meaning "from") is often omitted when this phrase is used in English, being mistaken for an indefinite article.

"Dicto simpliciter" fallacies are deductive logical fallacies that occur in statistical syllogisms. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated. For instance, the appropriateness of using opiates is dependent on the presence of extreme pain. To justify the recreational use of opiates by referring to a cancer patient or to justify arresting said cancer patient by comparing him to the recreational user would be a dicto simpliciter.

There are exactly two kinds of a dicto simpliciter:

  • Accident -- a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid (Where an acceptable exception is ignored.) [from general to qualified]
  • Converse accident -- a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter (Where an acceptable exception is eliminated or simplified.) [from qualified to general]

For inductive fallacies that may affect the soundness of some statistical syllogisms, see faulty generalization.

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