Fallacy of ambiguity
|Part of the series on|
“”Claim X is made. Y is concluded based on an ambiguous understanding of X.
A fallacy of ambiguity occurs when a conclusion is drawn from premises that are unclear. When an unclear premise is used, it may not support the conclusion.
 Alternate names
Several names exist, including:
- Semantical ambiguity
- Type-token ambiguity
In essence, the fallacy involves two steps:
- Premises are presented that are unclear enough to allow for more than one conclusion.
- A single conclusion is drawn from these premises.
Here are two examples:
|P1. It is said that we have a good understanding of our universe.|
C1. Therefore, we know exactly how it began and exactly when.
|P1. All living beings come from other living beings.|
C1. Therefore, the first forms of life must have come from a living being.
C2. That living being is God.
- Fallacy of accent, where the stress or a word or words is unclear and makes the meaning unclear
- Fallacy of amphiboly, where grammatical uncertainty makes the meaning of a sentence unclear
- Equivocation, where one word has two or more separate meanings that are switched between in the course of a sentence
- Quote mining, where context is removed to make a point (which the context may disprove, downplay, or explain)
- Phantom distinction, where two functionally synonymous terms are treated as separate
- Moral equivalence, where two distinct moral/immoral ideas are treated as the equally moral/immoral
- Wronger than wrong, where two partially false ideas are treated as equally false
 See also
- See the Wikipedia article on extraneous and missing solutions.
- Fallacies of Ambiguity, Philosophy Pages
- Ambiguity, Vagueness, Fallacy Files
- Fallacies of Ambiguity, About.com
- Attacking Faulty Reasoning, T. Damer
- Your logical fallacy is ambiguity, YLFI