Talk:Fallacy of four terms

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how is this different from math: "you need n different quotations/terms to calculate n variables in correlation" ?

Falacy Example[edit]

I don't understand how this is an example of a fallacy:

Major premise: All fish have fins.
Minor premise: All goldfish are fish.
Conclusion: All humans have fins.

It's obviously not true, and maybe it is an example of a Fallacy of four terms, but it is so far out that I doubt this is an example that would really happen in real life.

The reason this is a bad example is that I can not see how anyone would accidently think that this makes sence. When this fallacy actually occurs, the item in the second term (goldfish) must somehow seem to be related to the last term (humans) in order to cause confusion. There should be an example that shows this better.

When explaining a falacy, explaining why it is false is just as important as explaining why some people think it is true. I see why this is false, but there is something missing here.

What is missing is an example that shows how this fallacy can occur without an Equivocation. If an equivocation is required for a Fallacy of four terms then we should say it, and if it is not required, we should explain why.--VegKilla 22:16, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

(Note that the Equivocation article says that Equivocation is a type of Fallacy of four terms. If this is accurate, then a Fallacy of four terms should be able to occur without Equivocation, and if it is not true, then the Equivocation article need to be fixed.)

Equivocation is clearly not necessary for a fallacy of four terms, since the article clearly gives the goldfish example, in which goldfish are not said to be the same as humans; the argument merely is completely ridiculous. However, it is still an example of a fallacy of four terms.
I think the reason equivocation for practical purposes is necessary is that the entire fallacy is predicated off of two separate terms filling a single role; if it is obvious these terms are not the same (that is, if there is no equivocation), then the argument is obviously fallacious (as you complained the goldfish example was). Therefore, by contrapositive, for a fallacy of four terms not to be obviously fallacious, one must use an equivocation. Eebster the Great (talk) 03:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You said "What is missing is an example that shows how this fallacy can occur without an Equivocation" and I tend to agree, but the reality is that we need obvious fallacies at the beginning of each fallacy article which illustrate for anyone no matter how rudimentary their knowledge of logic is. It would indeed be nice to include a higher level of fallacy of 4 types which is not equivocation but I haven't encountered one yet. TLTLI (talk) 20:40, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


This is a great example but I am not sure that it is explained properly. If it were symbolized the relation of "touches" would simply be described as non-transitive. I feel that this should be mentioned. TLTLI (talk) 20:40, 3 November 2009 (UTC)