There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff — we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone seeing this today donates $5, we will meet our goal for 2018.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
Fallacy of accident
| Part of the series on|
Logic and rhetoric
“”No rule is so general, which admits not some exception.
|—Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy|
Fallacy of accident is a logical fallacy that occurs when a general rule (a rule of thumb or a "soft" generalization) is taken to be universal (an unconditionally true statement).
- a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid
- sweeping generalization
- misuse of a principle
- ignoring qualifications
- P1: Bs are normally Cs.
- P2: A (an abnormal example) is a B.
- C1: A is C.
“”Water boils at a temperature of 212° Fahrenheit; therefore boiling water will be hot enough to cook an egg hard in five minutes: but if we argue thus at an altitude of 5,000 feet, we shall be disappointed; for the height, through the difference in the pressure of the air, qualifies the truth of our general principle.
|—H. W. B. Joseph|
- "Birds can [normally] fly" is a general rule, and doesn't imply that all birds (such as emus or penguins) can fly. To take this general rule and apply it to all birds would be committing a sweeping generalization.
- See the Wikipedia article on Secundum quid.
- The Fallacy of Accident, Fallacy Files
- Accident, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy