| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 195 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
"With all thy getting, get understanding" (Prov. 4: 7).
The fallacy: Fallacies classified.
pp. 35 - 38
Aristotle divided fallacies broadly into two sections: "Verbal" and "Non-verbal".
Of the first class, which are not much more than verbal quibbles, he names six
(1) Ambiguity of words.--This is met by clear definition.
(2) Ambiguity of structure.--Minto gives as an illustration:--
"What he was beaten with was what I saw him beaten with: what I saw him beaten
with was my eye; therefore what he was beaten with was my eye."
Under this heading would come the misinterpretation of figures of speech, and the
taking literally of what is meant figuratively, e.g., "This is My body".
(3) Illicit conjunction.--Minto gives as an illustration:--
"Socrates is good. Socrates is a musician. Therefore Socrates is a good musician."
Here two items are joined together in the conclusion that have no necessary or logical
(4) Illicit disjunction.
"Socrates is a good musician. Therefore he is a good man."
(5) Ambiguity of pronunciation.--We remember the following incident that illustrates
this class of fallacy:--
A little boy attended school for the first time, and was told to sit in a seat quietly until
he could be attended to. After a while he began to cry; upon being questioned as to his
trouble, he exclaimed, "I was told to wait here for the present, and it has not come."
This form of fallacy often depends on the confusing of verb and noun, which may
both sound alike.
(6) Ambiguity of inflexion.--This is more likely to occur in a language rich in
inflexions than in one in which they have been largely eliminated as in modern English.
Turning to Aristotle's second division, we note the following cases of "non-verbal"