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Distinction without a difference

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A distinction without a difference is a type of logical fallacy where an author or speaker attempts to describe a distinction between two things where no discernible difference exists.[1] It is particularly used when a word or phrase has connotations associated with it that one party to an argument prefers to avoid.

For example, a person might say "I did not lie; I merely stretched the truth a little bit."[2]

Form of the fallacy[edit]

  • Claim X is made where the truth of the claim requires a distinct difference between A and B.
  • There is no distinct difference between A and B.
  • Therefore, claim X is incorrectly claimed to be true.


  • Sergio: There is no way I would ever even consider taking dancing lessons.
  • Kitty: How about I ask my friend from work to teach you?
  • Sergio: If you know someone who is willing to teach me how to dance, then I am willing to learn, sure.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martinich, A. P. (1996). Philosophical Writing: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing. p. 99. ISBN 9781405143929.
  2. ^ Royal, Brandon (2013). The Little Blue Reasoning Book: 50 Powerful Principles for Clear and Effective Thinking. Maven Publishing. p. 178. ISBN 978-1897393604.
  3. ^ Bennett, Bo. "Distinction Without a Difference". logicallyfallacious.com.