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Talk:Not all

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"typically used by reactionaries"[edit]

Two thoughts on the draft:

  1. Everyone uses this. EG: When debating an antifeminist who quotes some proponent of castrating all men and imposing a matriarchy, many respond but "not all feminists are like that!" No reason to limit to reactionaries.
  2. A section should differentiate "not all" and "not most". While "not all" is a NTS fallacy, "not most" is not. If a vast majority of Scotsmen do not pillage and burn, but the Scots-defender does acknowledge that example used by the Scots-maligner does pillage and burn, then it is not at all fallacious to say that "a vast majority of Scotsmen aren't pillager arsonists" -- which undermines the validity of a statement, eg, "Scotsmen are pillagers and burners".

Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 21:12, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't restrict sandboxing. Please feel free to edit the draft yourself. Zero (talk - contributions) 21:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
This article makes no sense. How does the use of "not all" become an instance of the NTS fallacy?
  1. The examples given for form 2 is indistinguishable from form 1.
  2. In the example you gave, if an individual Scotsman happens to be X and someone comes along to say "not all Scotsmen are X" (which implies nothing about whether a subset of Scotsmen are X) this is semantically no different from saying "a vast majority of Scotsmen are not X".
Withoutaname (talk) 00:07, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Its sorta in reverse. Not so much a true Scotsman but demonizing a particular subset as not representing the whole. Zero (talk - contributions) 16:30, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
To quote Fuzzy from below: "It's not quite NTS. NTS says, "If X did Y, then X isn't really a Z". Not all men (NAM), for example, doesn't say that. NAM doesn't say that the men who DO do that aren't men. Rather, it says that the original statement was an overgeneralization. NAM says, "Although [X] did [Y], not [all X] do [Y]. Thus, the example of '[X] did [Y]' is irrelevant to the general behavior of [all X] towards [Y]." While this is logically true, it functions as a conversation-ender -- and usually the person who asserts that "[X] are such [Y]-doers" was trying to talk about the anecdote itself, not the general class of [X]. EG: "My BF just broke up with me. Men are such jerks." It is (usually) unlikely that the speaker is trying to talk about all [X]." Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:27, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

The two halves of "Not all X"[edit]

Adapted from here.

Basically, I just googled for the "Not all men" expression, because wanted to know more about what it was supposed to mean. I used the following sources to try to get a clue about what it means;

After having read through all those links (took a good 20 minutes), I've come to the conclusion that this expression is first of all both notable and missonal for us to have an article on. Further, the expression is inherently one of logic and rhetoric, which we are really good at covering. Thirdly, what is also clear is that the expression actually has two different uses! (Which also makes it vulnerable to equivocation).

The first use is summed up in the Quora link quite well, and entails the use: when someone tries to deflects a specific (often proven) example with a general blanket statement. E.g.;

Problem-solver: Wow, did you know that in 2011, 23% of all auto collisions involved cell phones? We should do something about that.

#notalldrivers: Not all people text and drive. I've never done that. You shouldn't be prejudiced against drivers just because some of them do crappy shit.

Problem Solver: I posted up a video to support anti-bullying efforts… I got really bullied by the football players at my school.

#notallfootballplayers: I used to play football, and I never bullied anyone. Don't judge all jocks by just your experience!

...which is clearly fallacious.

The second use of the term, which is also fallacious, is instead: when someone tries to demand that a blatant overgeneralisation not be questioned. E.g;

Person A: All men are all jerks!

Person B: You shouldn't be saying that about all men.

Person A: Oh god, not another 'not all men' argument, I'm sick of hearing these when I'm trying to fight sexism!

...which is also clearly fallacious.

I find that this is something we should educate about - that is, about the fact that: contained within the "Not all men"-statement are two logically different (yet related) scenarios;

  • One in which specific examples, often with proof provided, are fallaciously washed away with solipsistic blanket statements which are essentially non sequitor to the issue at hand
  • One in which a claim-maker attempts to bully others into letting the claim-maker overgeneralize as much as he or she pleases (essentially trying to force other people to agree that the defense mechanismWikipedia of the claim-maker be granted the status of a logically sound or even plausible statement - which it isn't).

I think that this is material sufficient for an article on this. I also think that the info (e.g. from the wikipedia article) about the history of the hashtags and the Isla Vista killings and all that ought to be separated from our description of this specific logical fallacy. That stuff could go in our Rape Culture article or some such, assuming we decide to port that into our article at all. Thoughts on this? All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:39, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

PS: This comic is really funny and defines the first of the two different uses of "Not all men" which I outline above. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:46, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
"Not all X" is a variant of No true Scotsman, and is also seen from libertarians - could be a section in that - David Gerard (talk) 18:23, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps, though I would still argue that it deserves its own article, considering the two-fold meanings (both of which may not tie fully into NTS), the search-friendly name, and the associations that exist to it. The petition I'm making here is still for its own article. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:48, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
"Not all" would make a great article. It's not quite NTS. NTS says, "If X did Y, then X isn't really a Z". Not all men (NAM), for example, doesn't say that. NAM doesn't say that the men who DO do that aren't men. Rather, it says that the original statement was an overgeneralization. NAM says, "Although [X] did [Y], not [all X] do [Y]. Thus, the example of '[X] did [Y]' is irrelevant to the general behavior of [all X] towards [Y]." While this is logically true, it functions as a conversation-ender -- and usually the person who asserts that "[X] are such [Y]-doers" was trying to talk about the anecdote itself, not the general class of [X]. EG: "My BF just broke up with me. Men are such jerks." It is (usually) unlikely that the speaker is trying to talk about all [X]. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 22:02, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
True. It's already on the to-do list as Not all X, fwiw - David Gerard (talk) 22:53, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
So we're in agreement then, gents! And with the two separate established uses I've dug up, it'll be nuanced and make for great reading, methinks. :) Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:01, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Two sides[edit]

This article lacks sources.

It talks about nuance but it lacks it itself. If the "not all" is meant to disqualify the entire argument, it is a fallacy; but it is only meant to make a precision, it is correct and it would be a fallacy to say that it was meant to disregard the entire argument. — Unsigned, by: 189.214.7.169 / talk / contribs