Fallacy of distribution
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A fallacy of distribution is an informal fallacy occurring when an argument assumes there is no difference between a term in the distributive (referring to every member of a class) and collective (referring to the class itself as a whole) sense.
There are two variations of this fallacy:
- Fallacy of composition - assumes what is true of the parts is true of the whole. This fallacy is also known as "arguing from the specific to the general"
- Since Judy is so diligent in the workplace, this entire company must have an amazing work ethic.
- Fallacy of division - assumes what is true of the whole is true of its parts (or some subset of parts).
- Because this company is so corrupt, so must every employee within it be corrupt.
While fallacious, arguments that make these assumptions may be persuasive because of the representativeness heuristic.
- Existential fallacy
- Ecological fallacy
- Fallacy of the undistributed middle
- Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny
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