Vantage point

Saturday, November 25, 2006

False Dilemma

According to wikipedia, the logical fallacy of false dilemma—also known as falsified dilemma, fallacy of the excluded middle, black and white thinking, false dichotomy, false correlative, either/or fallacy and bifurcation—involves a situation in which two alternative points of view are held to be the only options, when in reality there exist one or more other options which have not been considered. The two alternatives presented are often, though not always, the two extreme points on some spectrum. Instead of such extreme simplification and wishful thinking, considering the whole spectrum, as in fuzzy logic, may be more appropriate.

The false dilemma fallacy refers to misuse of the or operator.

Great Example - Either the stock market is a fraud on the public or these deals that dominate the business pages are a fraud on the public.