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Logical  Fallacy: a error in reasoning
  (adj)     (noun)

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Below is the statement as it appears with the fallacy marked as correct. You can see the totals of most frequent responses to this statement. And after reading the any discussion going on below, you can select your choice(s) for the correct answer. For now, whoever posts each statement can update corrections.
"Americans use much more electricity than Africans do. So Bill, who lives in primitive cabin in Maine, uses more electricity than Nelson, who lives in a modern house in South Africa."
Fallacy of Division
Category: Fallacies of Ambiguity

The fallacy of Division is committed when a person infers that what is true of a whole must also be true of its constituents and justification for that inference is not provided. There are two main variants of the general fallacy of Division:

The first type of fallacy of Division is committed when 1) a person reasons that what is true of the whole must also be true of the parts and 2) the person fails to justify that inference with the required degree of evidence. More formally, the "reasoning" follows this sort of pattern:

  1. The whole, X, has properties A, B, C, etc.
  2. Therefore the parts of X have properties A,B,C, etc.
That this line of reasoning is fallacious is made clear by the following case: 4 is an even number. 1 and 3 are parts of 4. Therefore 1 and 3 are even.

It should be noted that it is not always fallacious to draw a conclusion about the parts of a whole based on the properties of the whole. As long as adequate evidence is provided in the argument, the reasoning can be acceptable. For example, the human body is made out of matter and it is reasonable to infer from this that the parts that make up the human body are also made out of matter. This is because there is no reason to believe that the body is made up of nonā€material parts that somehow form matter when they get together.

The second version of the fallacy of division is committed when a person 1) draws a conclusion about the properties of individual members of a class or group based on the collective properties of the class or group and 2) there is not enough justification for the conclusion. More formally, the line of "reasoning" is as follows:

  1. As a collective, group or class X has properties A,B,C, etc.
  2. Therefore the individual members of group or class X have properties A,B,C, etc.
That this sort of reasoning is fallacious can be easily shown by the following: It is true that athletes, taken as a group, are football players, track runners, swimmers, tennis players, long jumpers, pole vaulters and such. But it would be fallacious to infer that each individual athlete is a football player, a track runner, a swimmer, a tennis player, a swimmer, etc.

It should be noted that it is not always fallacious to draw a conclusion about an individual based on what is true of the class he/she/it belongs to. If the inference is backed by evidence, then the reasoning can be fine. For example, it is not fallacious to infer that Bill the Siamese cat is a mammal from the fact that all cats are mammals. In this case, what is true of the class is also true of each individual member.

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 1,175 Total Answer Attempts   47%
 557 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 618 Incorrectly Un/Popped
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Most Common Responses

 
557 - Fallacy of Division
84 - Hasty Generalization
62 - Biased Generalization
43 - Relativist Fallacy
34 - Fallacy of Composition
32 - Confusing Cause and Effect
29 - Guilt by Association
26 - False Dilemma
25 - Misleading Vividness
23 - Red Herring
21 - Burden of Proof
20 - Ignoring a Common Cause
20 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
17 - Appeal to Common Practice
16 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
15 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
15 - Begging the Question
14 - Genetic Fallacy
14 - Appeal to Belief
10 - Appeal to Pity
9 - Gambler's Fallacy
8 - Slippery Slope
8 - Personal Attack
8 - Appeal to Ridicule
7 - Ad Hominem
7 - Special Pleading
7 - Post Hoc
7 - Appeal to Tradition
6 - Appeal to Spite
6 - Poisoning the Well
5 - Middle Ground
4 - Appeal to Novelty
3 - Appeal to Popularity
3 - Appeal to Emotion
3 - Appeal to Authority
3 - Appeal to Fear
2 - Appeal to Flattery
2 - Peer Pressure

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* Fallacious statements are usually paired with a random image of a person who never spoke those words.
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