Sample Essay on Fallacy of Presumption

 Fallacy of Presumption

Fallacies of presumption begin with a false or unwarranted assumptions, thus, are unable to establish their conclusion. They fail to provide sufficient reason for believing the truth of their conclusions. The erroneous reasoning results from an implicit supposition of some further proposition whose truth is uncertain or implausible. There are different forms of fallacy of presumption that you also need to known in order to fully understand the concept. These include the fallacy of accident, the fallacy of converse accident, fallacy of false cause and begging the question.

The fallacy of accident starts with the statement of some principle that is true as a general rule, but then turn out to err by applying this principle to a particular case that is not usual in a certain way. An example can be like the case below:

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  • Women earn less than men earn for the same work
  • Oprah Winfrey is a woman
  • Therefore, Oprah Winfrey earns less than male talk-show hosts

The fallacy of converse accident begins with a specific case that is not usual or atypical in a given way, and then errs by deriving from this case, the truth of a general rule. An ideal example to illustrate this is:

  • Dennis Rodman wears earrings and is an excellent rebounder
  • Thus, people who wear earrings are excellent rebounders.

It should be obvious that one instance is not enough to establish the truth of such a general principle. Since it is easy for this conclusion to be false even though the premise is true, the argument is not reliable at all.

False cause infers the presence of a causal connection simply because events appear to take place in correlation or temporal succession. A good example is:

  • The moon was full on Thursday evening
  • On Friday morning I overslept
  • Therefore, the full moon caused me to oversleep

Begging the question is the fallacy of using the conclusion of an argument as one of the premises that are offered in its own support. Begging the question fallacy involves an argument or a series of arguments that are formally valid such that if its premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true. The only set back is that this valid argument does not really provide support for the truth in its conclusion. An explicit version would be something like:

  • All dogs are mammals
  • All mammals have hair
  • Since animals with hair bear live young, dogs bear live young
  • But all animals that bear live young are mammals
  • Therefore, all dogs are mammals

The fallacy of complex question on the other hand, presupposes the truth of its own conclusion by including it implicitly in the statement of the issue to be considered. Below is an example of a situation of this kind of fallacy:

  • Have you tried to stop watching too much TV?
  • If so, then you admit to watching too much television
  • If not, then you must still be watching too much TV
  • Thus, you watch too much television.

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