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Appeal to novelty

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Part of the series on
Logic and rhetoric
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General logic
Bad logic

The appeal to novelty is the fallacious claim that an idea or product is good - simply by virtue of being novel or new.

Alternate names[edit]

  • argumentum ad novitatem
  • appeal to modernity/progress/modernity
  • argument of the new

Form[edit]

The general form of the argument is as follows.


P1: X is novel.
P2: (unstated) Something novel is always better.
C1: X is correct or better.

As a syllogism this is valid. The fallacy lies in the unstated minor premise. New ideas or new products that are untried or untested are not inevitably better. There are cases when new is better, for example many foodstuffs are better fresh but in many other cases age does not affect the value of a product.

Examples[edit]

  1. "Let's buy the latest version of the software. It must be better!"
  2. In the late 90s when the Internet appeared to be the future of pretty much everything, many "dotcom" businesses found easy financial backing, simply because they were part of the "World Wide Web", regardless of their lack of a good business plan or experience.
  3. "A change in government will fix things!"

Western culture[edit]

Western culture includes a strong memeplex implying that new things are superior to old things. Westerners believe in progress and have experienced scientific advance which lead to westerners getting many new products and benefiting from new processes which we value. Sometimes we hope desperately that further scientific advance will solve problems like global warming. Advertising encourages us to believe that new is better even when the main novelty is in packaging.

Reverse position[edit]

The reverse position of the appeal to novelty would be the appeal to tradition. This is also fallacious since as a rule age does not improve quality.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]