Overwhelming exception


Overwhelming exception

An overwhelming exception is a logical fallacy similar to a hasty generalization. It is a generalization that is accurate, but comes with one or more qualifications which eliminate so many cases that what remains is much less impressive than the initial statement might have led one to assume.

Examples:

  • "All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?" (The attempted implication (fallacious in this case) is that the Romans did nothing for us). This is a quotation from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • "Our foreign policy has always helped other countries, except of course when it is against our National Interest..." (The false implication is that our foreign policy always helps other countries).
  • "All Americans are useless at foreign languages. Ok, I'll make an exception for those who live in multi-ethnic neighborhoods, have parents who speak a foreign language, are naturally gifted in languages, have lived abroad or who went to a school with a good foreign language program, but the rest are absolutely useless at foreign languages."
  • All dogs are black, except for those that are not black. (This is also a tautology, or rather a validity.)

See also faulty generalization for other fallacies involving generalization.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fallacy — In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually incorrect argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (appeal to emotion), or… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fallacies — For specific popular misconceptions, see List of common misconceptions. A fallacy is incorrect argumentation in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity, or more generally, a lack of soundness. Contents 1 Formal fallacies 1.1… …   Wikipedia

  • Converse accident — The logical fallacy of converse accident (also called reverse accident, destroying the exception, or a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter) is a deductive fallacy that can occur in a statistical syllogism when an exception to a… …   Wikipedia

  • 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. A dicto simpliciter… …   Wikipedia

  • Accident (fallacy) — The logical fallacy of accident, also called destroying the exception or a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid, is a deductive fallacy occurring in statistical syllogisms (an argument based on a generalization) when an exception to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Ambiguity — Sir John Tenniel s illustration of the Caterpillar for Lewis Carroll s Alice s Adventures in Wonderland is noted for its ambiguous central figure, whose head can be viewed as being a human male s face with a pointed nose and pointy chin or being… …   Wikipedia

  • False dilemma — A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black and white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives …   Wikipedia

  • Gambler's fallacy — The Gambler s fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy (because its most famous example happened in a Monte Carlo Casino in 1913)[1], and also referred to as the fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the belief that if deviations from… …   Wikipedia

  • Loaded question — A loaded question is a question which contains a controversial assumption such as a presumption of guilt.[1] Such questions are used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to be those that serve the questioner s agenda.[2] The… …   Wikipedia

  • Ignoratio elenchi — Contents 1 Example 2 Red herring 3 See also 4 References …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.