Monday, August 16, 2010

The Reductive, Genetic and Psycho-genetic Fallacies

We move now into the reductive, genetic and psycho-genentic fallacies (bulverism).  These fallacies are often committed when someone is trying to reduce complex ideas, target a particular beginning with the motivation to ridicule or make an assumption from a psychological reason.  All of them try to hone in on a beginning or a starting point toward that which is attempting to be refuted. Hmm.

Here are the definitions.

The Reductive Fallacy: Reduces complex entities and then attempts to explain those entities in terms of one of its many respects.
The Genetic Fallacy: The genetic fallacy is demonstrated by the belittling or the attempt to refute something by pointing to its humble or inauspicious beginnings.
The Psycho-genetic Fallacy (Bulverism): Making the assumption that one has refuted an idea just because you have discovered the psychological reason why someone believes an idea.


Here are some great resources for the study of logic:

Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn, The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-six Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasononing. Muscatine, IA: Christian Logic and Trivium Pursuit, 2003.

Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen, Introduction to Logic (13th Edition).

Norman Geisler and Ronald Brooks, Come Let us Reason: An Introduction in Logical Thinking. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1990.

William Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 2009.

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