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# 2021-06-04-cause-and-effect-fallacies.mdx

65 lines (38 loc) · 2.29 KB
title slug date_published date_updated tags draft
Cause and Effect fallacies
cause-and-effect-fallacies
2021-06-04T22:00:16.000Z
2021-06-04T22:01:24.000Z
 course notes
false

Lately, I have been learning about formal and informal logic. Today, I will share some notes on cause-effect related fallacies, which are unfortunately very common in arguments.

## Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

Just because B happens after A, it doesn't mean that A caused B.

Example:

• My car has been working for 10 years. It just stopped working after I lent it to you last week, therefore you broke it.

## Neglect of a common cause

A and B are correlated. It doesn't mean A causes B or B causes A. There could be a third reason C causing both.

Example:

• Two symptoms happen in the same patient, but both are caused by a third condition.

## Causal oversimplification

Take one factor and reach a conclusion using that only reason, ignoring all the other contributing factors.

## Confusing of a necessary and a sufficient condition

Condition A is necessary for B if you can not have B without having had A.

• Oxygen is necessary for fire. This does not mean that everywhere there is oxygen there will also be fire.

Condition A is sufficient for B if anytime there is B, there has also been A.

• Winning lottery is sufficient to become a millionaire. But not necessary to become a millionaire, as there are other ways.

Example:

• I don't understand why the plant died. I watered it.
• Watering the plant is necessary but not sufficient.