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Encyclopedia > Association fallacy

An association fallacy is an inductive formal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion. Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ... In philosophy, a formal fallacy or a logical fallacy is a pattern of reasoning which is always wrong. ... Hasty generalization, is a logical fallacy of faulty generalization by reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence. ... Ignoratio elenchi (also known as irrelevant conclusion or irrelevant thesis) is the formal fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but doesnt address the issue in question. ... Look up red herring in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Appeal to emotion is a logical fallacy wherein the arguer (who is using this fallacy) takes advantage of emotion to prove his or her argument. ...



In notation of First-order logic, this type of fallacy can be expressed as (∃xS:φ(x))→ (∀xS:φ(x)), meaning "if there exists any x in the set S so that a property φ is true for x, then for all x in S the property φ must be true." First-order logic (FOL) is a universal language in symbolic science, and is in use everyday by mathematicians, philosophers, linguists, computer scientists and practitioners of artificial intelligence. ...

Premise A particular thing A is a B
Premise A is also a C
Conclusion Therefore, all Cs are Bs

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Guilt by association

See also: Collective guilt for legal and ethical aspects

This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Some syllogistic examples of guilt by association are: A syllogism (Greek: — conclusion, inference), usually the categorical syllogism, is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form. ...

  • Knut attracted people who took pictures. The people also took pictures of Pan Pan, killing him. Knut killed Pan Pan.
  • In the BBC sitcom Yes, Prime Minister, the wordplay-prone Sir Humphrey Appleby commits the logical fallacy All dogs have four legs; my cat has four legs. Therefore, my cat is a dog.

Knut ( (help· info)) (born at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin on 5 December 2006) is a captive-born polar bear that is currently the subject of international popularity and controversy. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... This article is about a genre of comedy. ... Yes, (prime) minister: Sir Humphrey Appleby, James Jim Hacker, Bernard Woolley Yes, Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister are British sitcoms about the struggle between (Dr) James Jim Hacker (played by Paul Eddington), the government minister of the (fictional) Department of Administrative Affairs (and later as Prime Minister) and... Sir Humphrey Appleby, on the left, giving directions to the Minister as usual Sir Humphrey Appleby is one of the three main characters of the 1980s British sitcom Yes, Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister. ...

Guilt by association as an ad hominem fallacy

Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.

This form of the argument is as follows:

A makes claim P.
Bs also make claim P.
Therefore, A is a B.

Honor by association

The logical inverse of "guilt by association" is honor by association, where one claims that someone or something must be reputable because of the people or organizations that are related to it or otherwise support it. For example:


  • Alice is a lawyer, and Alice thinks highly of Bob. Therefore, Bob must know the law.
  • Aaron will make a good race car driver, because his friend is a good race car driver.
  • Mother Theresa was good and a Catholic, so all Catholics are good.
  • Citizens of Country X have won more nobel prizes/gold medals/literary awards than citizens of Country Y. Therefore, a citizen of Country X is superior to a citizen of Country Y."

See also

Look up ad hominem in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The term reductio ad Hitlerum (sometimes rendered reductio ad Hitlerem)—whimsical Latin for reduction to Hitler—was originally coined by University of Chicago professor and ethicist Leo Strauss. ...


External links

  • Propagandacritic.com "Transfer technique"
  • Propagandacritic.com "Testimonial"

  Results from FactBites:
Association fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (384 words)
An association fallacy is a type of logical fallacy which asserts that qualities of one are inherently qualities of another, merely by association.
The two types are sometimes referred to as "guilt by association" and "honor by association." Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and are often based in an appeal to emotion.
Guilt by association, also known as the "bad company fallacy" or the "company that you keep fallacy," is the logical fallacy of claiming that something must be false because of the people or organizations that support it.
Chapter 9--Completely Irrational Fallacies For Which No Evidence Exists: (7312 words)
This is the category of fallacies frequently known as “non-sequiters”, which is simply the Latin phrase for “it does not follow.”  These are fallacies that are based purely on rules of logic, prior to examining any evidence, in which the conclusion logically does not follow from the premise.
         Secularist Fallacy (A Contradictory Fallacy)—This is one expression of the Cynicism Fallacy.
An example of the self refuting fallacy is the Positive Law Fallacy—This is a Self Refuting Fallacy.--This fallacy is to morally condemn or to be outraged at assertions of or defenses of natural or higher law.
  More results at FactBites »



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