An explanation is intended to explain who some phenomenon
happens. The explanation is fallacious if the
phenomenon does not actually happen of if there
is no evidence that it does happen.
- The reason why most bachelors are timid is that their
mothers were domineering.
(This attempts to explain why most bachelors are
timid. However, it is not the case that most bachelors
- John went to the store because he wanted to
(This is a fallacy if, in fact, John went to
- The reason why most people oppose the strike
is that they are afraid of losing their jobs.
(This attempts to explain why workers oppose the
strike. But suppose they just voted to continue the
strike, Then in fact, they don't oppose the strike.
[This sounds made up, but it actually happened.])
Identify the phenomenon which is being explained. Show
that there is no reason to believe that the phenomenon
has actually occurred.
Cedarblom and Paulsen: 158
10 August 1996