Appeal to fiction
| Cogito ergo sum|
Logic and rhetoric
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.
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.
- 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 as evidence, stating "Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so."
- Just about anything to do with 1984.
- Atheist professor dropping a piece of chalk and it not breaking, after telling God to have it land intact, or variants.
- Things to keep in mind before starting a conspiracy, mostly informed by fictional examples
- Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks, p. 9, Nick Bostrom
- The Logical Fallacy of Generalization from Fictional Evidence, on LessWrong