Category Archives: Induction

Common Fallacies

I have found a list of common fallacies here which I though I should reproduce.

(update 10/04/2010: I have now extended the list of fallacies by referring to the book Applied Intelligence of Sternberg et. al. and to the source commenter “Manblogg” [Manos] was kind to post )

Formal Fallacies

Fallacies of Relevance

Fallacies of Evidence

(update)

Having conversations with people who are not able to avoid falling (constantly and unrepentantly) into these fallacy traps is surely a waste of time

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The problem of induction: Don’t be a chicken

“Domestic animals expect food when they see the person who usually feeds them. We know that all these rather crude expectations of uniformity are liable to be misleading. The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.

But in spite of the misleadingness of such expectations, they nevertheless exist. The mere fact that something has happened a certain number of times causes animals and men to expect that it will happen again. Thus our instincts certainly cause us to believe that the sun will rise tomorrow, but we may be in no better a position than the chicken which unexpectedly has its neck wrung.”

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

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