A dicto simpliciter

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A dicto simpliciter (sweeping generalization) (Latin: "from a maxim without qualification", meaning "from a universal rule") or ad dictum simpliciter (Latin: "to a maxim without qualification", meaning "to a universal rule") are Latin phrases for a type of informal fallacy of presumption.


A dicto simpliciter fallacies are deductive fallacies that occur in statistical syllogisms. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated. For instance, restaurant kitchens must regularly undergo government inspections for food safety. If one were to argue from this that all kitchens, including home kitchens, should be visited by government inspectors, it would be an a dicto simpliciter fallacy.

Instances of a dicto simpliciter are of two kinds:

  • Accidenta dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid (Where an acceptable exception is ignored.) [from general to qualified]
  • Converse accidenta dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter (Where an acceptable exception is eliminated or simplified.) [from qualified to general]

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