Ignotum per ignotius

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ignotum per ignotius (Latin for "the unknown by the more unknown") describes an explanation that is less familiar than the concept it would explain.

An example would be: "The oven felt hot because of Fourier's Law." It is unlikely that a person unfamiliar with the hotness of ovens would be enlightened by a reference to a fundamental law of physics. Of course, such a person might exist in theory, so ignotum per ignotius is not strictly a logical fallacy; it is just a criticism of an argument on rhetorical grounds, stating that such an argument is not useful in a particular context.

Ignotum per æque ignotum[edit]

Ignotum per æque ignotum, meaning "the unknown by the equally unknown", is a related form of fallacy in which one attempts to prove something unknown by deducing it from something else that is also not known to be true.[1]