Loki's Wager


Loki's Wager

Loki's Wager is a form of logical fallacy. It is the unreasonable insistence that a concept cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be discussed.

Loki is a trickster god in Norse mythology, who, legend has it, once made a bet with some dwarfs. [ [http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/mythology/myths/text/treasures.htm Hurstwic Norse Mythology: The Treasures of the Gods ] ] It was agreed that the price, should Loki lose the wager, would be his head. Loki lost the bet, and in due time the dwarfs came to collect the head which had become rightfully theirs. Loki had no problem with giving up his head, but he insisted they had absolutely no right to take any part of his neck. Everyone concerned discussed the matter; and, one could suppose, they are discussing the matter still. Certain parts were obviously head, and certain parts were obviously neck, but neither side could agree "exactly" where the one ended and the other began. As a result, Loki keeps his head indefinitely.

The fallacy's focus on over specification makes it in some ways the opposite of hasty generalization and could be considered an extreme form of equivocation.

References

ee also

* Draupnir
* Brokkr
* No true Scotsman
* The Merchant of Venice — a similar argument over a pound of flesh erupts at the end of the play.
* Quibble — the use of the fallacy as a plot device.
* Vagueness
* Never Bet the Devil Your Head
* Sorites paradox


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Loki (disambiguation) — Loki is the god of mischief in Norse mythology.LOKI refers to a family of cryptographic block ciphers.Loki may also refer to: *Loki (rocket), an American sounding rocket, which later developed into the Super Loki rocket *Loki (volcano), on… …   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

  • Fallacies of definition — refer to the various ways in which definitions can fail to have merit. The term is used to suggest analogy with the logical fallacies. This is a typical sort of list found in texts used in college logic courses. Circularity If one concept is… …   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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Equivocation — is classified as both a formal and informal fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).It is often confused with amphiboly; however, equivocation is… …   Wikipedia

  • No true Scotsman — For the practice of wearing a kilt without undergarments, see True Scotsman. No true Scotsman is an informal logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion.[1] When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather… …   Wikipedia

  • Correlation does not imply causation — (related to ignoring a common cause and questionable cause) is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other (though correlation is necessary for …   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.