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fallacy of ambiguity

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


L ogic Also called the fallacy of clearness, or for Aristotle a sophism. Aristotle held that this kind of fallacy arises from ambiguity in words or in the sentences that contain ambiguous words. It is a fallacy if during the course of argument the meanings of the ambiguous words shift so that the conclusion is not validly established. The major forms of this kind of fallacy include the fallacy of accent , fallacy of amphiboly, fallacy of equivocation, fallacy of composition , and fallacy of division . To avoid these fallacies, we need to distinguish the meanings of the words carefully. “Fallacies of ambiguity are arguments which are incorrect or invalid because of some ambiguity in the language, for example, because a word, phrase, or statement can be understood in different ways.” Carney and Scheer, Fundamentals of Logic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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