Talk:Non sequitur

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Revision as of 14:00, 31 August 2006 by Sans Deity (Talk | contribs)
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I'm not quite sure that this page contains the best examples of this fallacy. Saying

  1. If p then q
  2. q
  3. therefore p

is certainly a fallacy, but its formal name seems to be illicit conversion.

The last example on the page is a much better illustration of non sequitur: "If I wear my new shirt, all the girls will think I'm sexy." A non sequitur is more like making up a syllogism with no basis for the initial statement.

So let p="I wear my new shirt", and q="all the girls think I'm sexy". The syllogism is

  1. If p then q
  2. p
  3. therefore q

The syllogism is valid, but the first statement is unsupported.

Likewise, "If there were no God, there wouldn't be flowers." That's another non sequitur.

Is a rewrite in order?

Kazim 11:12, 31 August 2006 (MST)

Illicit conversion (affirming the consequent in the first example)...

If p then q
therefore p a form of non sequitur, as is its counterpart, denying the antecedent...

If p then q
not p
therefore, not q

These arguments are both invalid because the conclusion "does not logically follow" from the premises, thus, non sequitur. All logical fallacies are, technically, non sequiturs.

I think what you're referring to might be considered a sort of informal non sequitur but, in reality, it is simply an objection to the soundness of the argument. Your example...

If p then q
therefore q

Is valid, as you pointed out, but what you're really doing is declaring that the premise of a specific example of the argument is unsound (If I wear my new shirt then all the girls think I'm sexy). As an argument is sound only as long as it is valid and the premises are true, your objection is that the premise is false and that the argument is unsound.

I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that every logical fallacy relates to validity only, and not soundness. Objections to soundness go to the factual nature of the premises and not structure....but I'm going to have to dig a bit deeper to be sure. - Sans Deity 12:00, 31 August 2006 (MST)

The article needs a rewrite, for clarity and a bit more depth, but I'm pretty sure that 'non sequitur' only applies to the

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