Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Logical Fallacies 11: Fallacy of Equivocation

Equivocation is a fallacy of ambiguity in which a word changes meaning within an argument.  For instance, "The sign says fine for parking.  Since it is fine, I can park here." With this example the word fine changes meanings from a sum of money extracted as a penalty by an authority to something which is satisfactory or acceptable.

Here are two more examples: "A feather is light.  What is light cannot be dark.  Therefore a feather cannot be dark." and "Only man is logical.  No woman is man.  Therefore, no woman is logical."

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