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Appeal to fiction

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An appeal to fiction (also generalizing from fictional evidence) is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone makes claims about reality based on evidence drawn from works of fiction.

Explanation[edit]

Fiction is not reality — it is driven in large part by considerations of being interesting to the audience rather than reflecting reality with 100% accuracy. Furthermore, fiction shows systemic bias in its distortion of reality; common deviations for the audience's benefit are catalogued and studied as tropes. Using fiction to argue about reality can therefore systematically skew your beliefs and expectations.

Example[edit]

  • This tactic was deployed by Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia when he justified the use of torture on terrorism suspects by citing the television show 24[1] as evidence, stating "Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so."[2]
  • Just about anything to do with 1984.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. 24 IMDb.
  2. Scalia and Torture (Jun 19, 2007) by Andrew Sullivan The Atlantic.