Information icon.svg The 2019 RMF board election has started!
We are electing 3 board members for the 2019-2021 term.
Vote here and read their campaign slogans here!

Bulverism

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Part of the series on
Logic and rhetoric
Icon logic.svg
Key articles
General logic
Bad logic

Bulverism is the logical fallacy of assuming without discussion that a person is wrong and then distracting his or her attention from this (the only real issue) by explaining how that person became so silly, usually associating it to a psychological condition. The fallacy deals with secondary questions about ideas rather than the primary one, thus avoiding the basic question or evading the issues raised by trains of reasoning. It is essentially dodging your opponent's argument by treating them like a psychiatry patient who needs your evaluation to explain why they came up with such a ridiculous argument in the first place.

The fallacy was coined by C.S. Lewis in his essay, First and Second things.

Strict usage[edit]

The form of the Bulverism fallacy can be expressed as follows:

You claim that A is true.
Because of B, you personally desire that A should be true.
Therefore, A is false.

or

You claim that A is false.
Because of B, you personally desire that A should be false.
Therefore, A is true.

Examples[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]