Talk:Post hoc ergo propter hoc

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Suggestion[edit]

to include a reference to apophenia both within the text and under the See Also section. It might be appropriate to amend the coin-finding paragraph to point out that the event was a coinicidence, and the interpretation of the event was an example of apophenia.

As both a relative newcomer to these pages and a non-specialist in this area I invite another reader to make the alteration, if it is felt appropriate. David Wigram

After reading the apophenia article, I don't think it is a pertinent link. Post hoc errors are not random, they are the result of giving correlation strength they don't deserve, like the pirates vs. global warming graph in the Flying Spaghetti Monster page. According to the article, apophenia is not a logical error so much as a neurological condition:
"Soon after his son committed suicide, Episcopalian Bishop James A. Pike (1913-1969) began seeing meaningful messages in such things as a stopped clock, the angle of an open safety pin, and the angle formed by two postcards lying on the floor. He thought they were conveying the time his son had shot himself (Christopher 1975: 139)."[1].
This seems a bit stronger than post hoc. There is no false attribution of causality here, so much as recognizing the presence of a meaningful pattern where none exists. Granted, I only just heard of this term now, but I'm pretty confident that this is how it is to be applied.
And by the way, I noticed you signed your actual name, indicating you don't have a registered account. I'd suggest setting one up. there's no reason not too, and it makes editing stuff easier. Shaggorama 06:17, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Examples removed from merged articles[edit]

I merged Post hoc and Ergo propter hoc into this article. There were examples with each, which have been moved here in favor of a new example (see below).

These examples were from Post hoc:

A noncontroversial example is "I just washed my car, so of course it began to rain." Rain is not caused by car-washing, but the car owner connects the two events. Cars are washed every day, but it doesn't rain every day.

And:

This logical fallacy is often used by the media to misreport the results of correlative studies. For example, if a study showed that 70% of kids who played violent video games grew up to be criminals, whereas only 20% of kids who played nonviolent video games did, the media might report "violent video games make kids into criminals", which is not supported by the evidence. (The criminals may have played violent video games more because they were prone to violent behavior for other reasons. There is no evidence that the games caused their behavior to change.)

Note that the second actually serves better as an example of correlation implies causation (logical fallacy). (But that article seems to have plenty of good examples already.)

This example came from Ergo propter hoc:

... (often this line of reasoning is found in voodoo or other superstitious beliefs. For example: "They waved a wand at me, and I tripped on the stairs." therefore, tripping on the stairs must have been' caused by the waving of the wand. Since causality is created in the observers mind, the resulting event can be conveniently chosen based on what one believes about the cause. i.e. for good luck charms, good events will be attributed; for curses, bad events. The link is observer created.

The above example captures the idea well, but might be considered an offensive stereotype of Voodooism. I have constructed another example for use in the article. Hopefully, it is more neutral.

--Jacius 04:34, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I added the {{Merge}} tag to Post hoc and Ergo propter hoc—thanks for doing the actual work. Rafał Pocztarski 01:24, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I removed the statement" 'Post hoc ergo propter hoc' is one of the better known logical fallacies arising from its discussion on an eponymous episode of The West Wing” (humorous in light of its context). Rather than crediting West Wing for bringing this logical fallacy into the general consciousness, wouldn't a more accurate explanation be the secondary or university education of hundreds of millions over the past 2,000 years? If we’re going to credit the origin of the idea, perhaps someone with a better understanding of the historical foundations of rhetoric can provide an explanation. --Rick Bray 23:12, 27 Aug, 2005

"If, then therefore, because"?[edit]

In the opening paragraph, we have "Some philosophy books translate the Latin to simply: "If, then therefore, because." Should this read, "if after, then therefore because"? I mean, literally it translates as "after this, therefore because of this". -GTBacchus(talk) 19:35, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

West Wing[edit]

This section should be removed entierly, as the consequence of mentioning such "facts" in all kind of philosophy articles would certainly cause Wikipedia to perish. As for now, I moved it to a Trivia section. The reference is made in the second episode of the first season. The title of the episode actually bears the name, Post Hoc, Ergo Proctor Hoc. Adam 01:51, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree... removed completely. Fan cruft. David Bergan 03:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Removed again. Its presence at the very top of the page is completely unnecessary and distracting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.247.183.117 (talk) 07:00, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

If you don't want to include a whole section on it, fine. At least mention it in a trivia section or a disambiguation message at the top of the page. It is highly relevant. It is not only a mention of this phrase, but an episode of a TV show which is TITLED this phrase. Jbbdude (talk) 16:29, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

canabis[edit]

About the link between canabis and heroin, this is a quite bad example : there are many real links between the two kinds of drugs and it's not rare that the pushers sell both products, even both don't have the same effects or dangers. J.

That's all fine and good but the purpose of this article is not to expand the debate on the relation of cannabis and heroin, but to demonstrate a logical fallacy. In its current form it is in fact a fallacy. It's also useful to demonstrate that even if the statement is true (for other reasons), it's still illogical. Logic doesn't determine what is true, it determines what can accurately be deduced from the stated premises. Aplomado talk 19:24, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
If cannabis-->heroin is a fallacy, great. But let's not taint this article by pushing an agenda... put that ref in the cannabis article, and wikilink. I replaced with a textbook NPOV example. David Bergan 21:14, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Merge notification[edit]

I'm going to reinstate the merge banner... if you noticed it was a banner stating that Magical Thinking should be merged into this article... which means the discussion for it is on the MT talk page. Join us there if you would like. David Bergan 21:16, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, my mistake HighInBC 23:11, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

realistic example that one might find in real life[edit]

The example I put in this article relating to canabis and herion was the only example of this arguement that one might find in real life, it has been removed[2], more than once. I am not going to keep putting it in there against consensus, or even a determined reverter.

If this specific example is unnacceptable for any reason then an example of this logical fallacy that is actually used by people needs to be found. The examples that are there do explain the concept, but they are far reaching arguements that are not likely to be made by anybody. If another realistic example cannot be found I will once again return the example that was removed[3]. HighInBC 23:06, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps in British Columbia legalization/use of cannabis isn't a politically charged issue... in the United States it definitely is, and since (a lot of) Americans visit wikipedia, the only NPOV way to go is to use other examples.
Part of the reason that the examples seem so "far-reaching" is that because in order to demonstrate a fallacy, it is best to use arguments that clearly show the lapse in reasoning. If we give an example that strikes the user as plausible, then she can't learn the nature of the fallacy. Conversely, if she's given an example that is outlandish, then she can ascertain the reason why that argument is outlandish, and therefore learn the fallacious principle.
But to show I'm a good sport, I will provide a list of alternate, sourced, examples, and let you pick the one(s) you think are best.


  • "When Roger Babson, whose prediction of the great stock market crash brought him renown, became ill with tuberculosis, he returned to his home in Massachusetts rather than follow his doctor's advice to remain in the West. During the freezing winter he left the windows open, wore a coat with a heating pad in the back, and had his secretary wear mittens and hit the typewriter keys with rubber hammers. Babson got well and attributed his cure to fresh air. Air from pine woods, according to Babson, has chemical or electrical qualities (or both) of great medicinal value." (Source: Martin Gardner, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science 1952, p.97)
Tightening up the reasoning gives us
  • When I returned to the freezing winter of Massachusetts (A), I was cured of tuberculosis (B).
  • Therefore the properties of a freezing winter in Massachusetts (A) caused the tuberculosis cure (B).


  • "Dr. Melvin Page wrote a book called Degeneration—Regeneration where he claimed that drinking milk is good for babies, but bad for adults. He stated that taken by adults, milk is the frequent cause of colds, sinus troubles, colitis, and most important, cancer. One reason he gives for his view is that in Wisconsin more people die of cancer per capita than in any other state, and more milk is drunk in Wisconsin than in any other state." (Source: James D. Carney/Richard K. Scheer, Fundamentals of Logic, Second Edition)
Tightening...
  • More milk is drunk and more people die of cancer in Wisconsin than in any other state.
  • Therefore milk drinking is a cause of cancer.


  • "I can't help but think that you are the cause of this problem; we never had any problem with the furnace until you moved into the apartment." The manager of the apartment house, on no stated grounds other than the temporal priority of the new tenant's occupancy, has assumed that the tenant's presence has some causal relationship to the furnace's becoming faulty. (Source: T. Edward Damer, Attacking Faulty Reasoning, Third Edition p. 131)


  • "Ever since we quit going to church, business has been getting worse. If we want to keep from going completely bankrupt, we'd better start back to church." Again, the claim is that one event was brought about by another event simply because of the temporal relationship. (Source: T. Edward Damer, Attacking Faulty Reasoning, Third Edition p. 131)


  • "From the time of the Supreme Court decisions granting the accused more rights, the crime rate has steadily increased. It is the Supreme Court that brought about our increasing crime problems." It is conceivable that there is some causal relationship between the judicial situation created by the Supreme Court decisions and the increased crime rate, but it would have to be established by more evidence than that of the temporal priority of the Court decisions. (Source: T. Edward Damer, Attacking Faulty Reasoning, Third Edition p. 131)


  • "More and more young people are attending high schools and colleges today than ever before. Yet there is more juvenile delinquency and more alienation among the young. This makes it clear that these young people are being corrupted by their education." (Source: S. Morris Engel, With Good Reason, Fifth Edition p. 165)


  • "Twenty-five years after graduation, alumni of Harvard have an average income five times that of people the same age who have no college education. If a person wants to be wealthy, he or she should enroll at Harvard." (Source: S. Morris Engel, With Good Reason, Fifth Edition p. 165)


  • Egyptians worshiped the ibis because each year, shortly after flocks of ibis had migrated to the banks of the Nile river, the river overflowed its banks and irrigated the land. The birds were credited with causing the precious flood waters when in fact both their migration and the river's overflow were effects of a common cause, the change of season. (Source: S. Morris Engel, With Good Reason, Fifth Edition p. 166)


  • "Your auto accident doesn't surprise me. Just yesterday a black cat crossed your path."


  • "Your boss has a bigger vocabulary than you. That's one reason he's your boss."


Kind regards, David Bergan 06:11, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Wow, that is alot of examples. hehe. Yes, cannabis is a very contentious issue here in BC. And no opinion was being put forward in the example I gave. While I can see how the mere mention can be seen as POV, it simple points out the fallacy in a common arguement. I will look closer at your examples and I will try to find one that may be commonly beleived. HighInBC 13:02, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

You want a contentious example? Try "Autism is generally diagnosed about the age of 5. MMR vaccine is given about the age of 5. Therefore MMR causes autism." Anyone want to put that one on the main page?Robbak (talk) 05:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


How about the inclusion of some relevant political rhetoric, which is, I think, an unending source of post hoc statements? Ex: The McGovern wing of the Democrat party seems to have forgotten that we've been on offense for the last five years and that's why we haven't been attacked here at home. -Mitch McConnell, 8 August 2006 Thanks, Mike


I've removed the references to Autism / MMR, not because it is false, but because we must surely be able to define a Latin phrase without descending into controversy. EddieC Vito (talk) 18:41, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

affirming the consequent?[edit]

Anyone want to explain how post hoc is an example of AC? I don't see it, at least not without great artifice. 271828182 09:29, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Prayer[edit]

I'm not a religious man myself, but the sentence on prayer seems to me unnecessarily provocative. Surely the article would be just as informative without it, and wouldn't run the same risk of alienating the reader. Would anyone object if I removed it, or replaced it with a less contentious example? TimTim 07:20, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Removal of Fox News example[edit]

I'm curious as to why the Fox News example was removed. The example was perfectly valid and reasonable, and was not a kneejerk anti-Bush comment. The example was used because it demonstrates how editorial rhetoric often employs post hoc reasoning. I think there is a difference between my legitimate example and offensive political speech. Not only was it deleted, but it was deleted without comment. Not every mention of Bush or Fox News is a volley in the "culture war." DecayedWisdom 05:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Five examples?[edit]

Not sure that the article needs five examples of the fallacy when 2 (or at most 3) will suffice. I vote for rooster and autumn leaves, with ice cream in third place. The diet beverage one is slightly confusing, and the pirate one is utterly retarded. David Bergan 05:54, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Better yet, we could use two of the sourced examples I gave above in the section "realistic example that one might find in real life". Either way, this article isn't meant to be a dumping ground of anyone's personal favorite flaws in reasoning. David Bergan 05:58, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Nobody else is probably following this... but I went ahead and made these changes to the article. David Bergan 19:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Merge with Correlation does not imply causation[edit]

Somebody explain to me how this article is different from the Correlation does not imply causation article. It seems kind of reduntant to have both articles if one is just the latin name for the other. RageGarden 02:01, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to set up a merge. I would prefer this being the main article, since it's the proper textbook name of the argument where the other is more colloquial. David Bergan 02:39, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea how to set up a merge, but if someone would do that, I agree that it should be under post hoc ergo propter hoc. RageGarden 23:31, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Please see merge proposal and discussion here. - Grumpyyoungman01 08:07, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I think there is sufficient difference between the two to not merge. The first difference is in the domain in which the terms are used Correlation does not imply causation is principally a statistical phrase which refers to a specific way of comparing two phenomena, Post hoc is more philosophical with a specific temporal component. As such Post hoc covers a wider range of errors and can cover a single pair of events where correlation can not be calculated. Correlation does not imply causation need not refer to sequential events, for instance there might be a correlation between poverty and obesity with a false claim that one causes the other. --Salix alba (talk) 16:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point. I recant my vote in favor of merging, but it would be nice if your distinction was clarified in one or both articles. David Bergan 20:32, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Could both of you please clarify your positions in the bolded text on Talk:Correlation does not imply causation#Clarification? so it is easy to find consensus? My own position is similar to Salix Alba's, in that I don't propose a complete merge, but Salix has put the case for no change at all. - Grumpyyoungman01 10:24, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd oppose this merge as well, much for the reasons outlined above. The fallacies are related, and should probably refer to each other in their own articles and perhaps even clarify the difference, but they aren't the same thing. --Infophile (Talk) (Contribs) 15:55, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, please don't merge these two articles, but if you do, merge post hoc into correlation does not imply causation, not the other way around. I think post hoc would work as a section of the correlation article, but I believe doing it the other way around might lead to a very infrequently visited article. Correlation does not imply causation is much more familiar and intelligible to people that haven't studied philosophy or latin (like myself.) 200.91.76.194 21:21, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I would also oppose the merge, as they aren't totally the same thing. This article deals with the idea that if A follows B, A must cause B, for example if I knock on my door and it rains later, knocking on my door must cause rain. The other article refers to creating links with unconnected factors without a time link, for example I drew 25% more drawings in 1989 than 1988, and the number of pigeons also went up by 25%, therefore the more i draw, the more pigeons there are. They aren't exactly the same. SGGH speak! 22:16, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Of course post hoc is not the same as cum hoc, which is why I support a merge instead of, say, a deletion.
Also, saying in both articles that one is "subtlety different" than the other is confusing and pretentious. Why don't we clearly say what exactly the relationship is (instead of pretending that it is something too profound for hoi polloi), namely that "the phrase post hoc is more prevalent in philosophy contexts," and that it "includes a chronological connotation." --gwc 17:35, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 04:22, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Article text reused in newspaper story[edit]

The Asia Times Online story Iraq's 'surge' has its limits dated July 31, 2008, quotes extensively (with attribution) from the present article. I'm unsure if there is a corresponding template for this type of use. In any case, it should be of interest to those who have worked on this so far. __meco (talk) 17:30, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Post hoc non ergo propter hoc[edit]

Could someone please provide a simple explanation for the similar phrase, post hoc non ergo propter hoc? Clearly enough it is a negative to post hoc ergo propter hoc, but the sense of the negation is not at all clear, especially to those who have not studied Latin, which I suspect is the majority of people.

I encountered the phrase in the Annie Dillard book, The Maytrees. Not understanding it from context, I looked it up here, was redirected to this article, and am still not real clear on the meaning. Typofixer76 (talk) 21:06, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

When a magician in antiquity did a post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc, then it was likely that an angry philosopher came forth screaming "Post hoc non ergo propter hoc, stulte!", if he was latinate. Post after hoc this ergo therefore propter because of hoc this. Non means not and stulte you stupid-head. In greek i don't know. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:47, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

One way to start looking at the meaning of "Post hoc, non ergo propter hoc" is to state that it is the opposite of "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." Without the "non," this is the name for a particular type of false logic that people commonly use when they are seeking to prove something. In Latin it means, "After this, therefore, because of this." or "When something happens after something else happens, the second thing always happens as a result of the first thing happening." Adding "non" to it makes it into an accurate statement, which doesn't serve the purpose of the person who wants to point out the type of false logic someone is employing in order to prove something.

Note that the power of this false logic comes from the fact that often when something happens it often does cause something else to happen. --Wendalore (talk) 04:14, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

"Post hoc ergo propter hoc" as Latin for "After this, therefore because of this," is known as a "logical fallacy." People often use this type of "logic" to try and demonstrate or to prove something. They point out that first one thing happened, and then another thing happened, and they are implying that the second thing happened because of the first thing. For example, Jennifer says, "My cousin from California called and she told me she was sick with a cold. A day later, I came down with a cold. That shows that it is possible to catch a cold over the phone." When Bob says, "Oh, that's an example of "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc," Bob is pointing out that Jennifer, who is using the case of talking on the phone to her far-away cousin who has a cold, and then getting a cold herself, to prove that you can catch a cold over the phone, is using a fallacious type of logic. Bob doesn't say "Post hoc, non ergo propter hoc, because that would not point out as specifically that Jennifer is using a certain kind of false logic. It's the exact phrase "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." that names and specifies the false logic. --Wendalore (talk) 04:17, 1 November 2013 (UTC) --Wendalore (talk) 04:19, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Chicken and Egg[edit]

Just to be a pedantic bugger about it, as I'm in that kind of mood...

I know it's a classical example, but it always irks me, always has and will. It's easy to solve. You merely need to decide which camp you're in: Evolutionist, or Creationist (bear with me!).


Evolutionist: Consider Dinosaurs, lizards and etcetera. Eggs came millions of years before the Chicken, the first "true" one of which would have hatched from its own egg a mere few tens of thousands of years ago somewhere in the east indies.

Creationist: Consider Genesis. Chickens were presumably brought into being by God, hence coming before the eggs they then laid (not being made during the Genesis event). Though it's been a while since I read those particular passages, and I could be wrong.


We need to find a better "can't tell which one should come first" endless loop :) 77.102.101.220 (talk) 18:39, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


The chicken v egg argument doesn't actually seem to fit this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.78.31.166 (talk) 19:06, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I'll add a little something. I used to puzzle (with enjoyment) about the impossibility of solving "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" picturing chickens and eggs endlessly receding into the past. Recently, this question appeared on Yahoo Answers, and, having just been discussing evolution—which happens a lot on YA R&S, (the Fundamentalist Christians VS the atheists, neither of which I am) it just spontaneously popped into my mind: "They evolved together." (as is illustrated in the text just above) Never again will I be baffled by this question! It simply, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't have an answer!! Like "which is faster, a chair or a table?" "Which is better, an apple or an orange?" I'll agree that although "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc," does have to do with successive time, as does "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" they have no relation to each other. One has to do with how you frame something in your mind, (Post hoc… ) and the chicken one has to do with misperceiving biological facts. Anyone who happens to be here maybe could state this better? --Wendalore (talk) 04:39, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

As you asked, Wendalore, I would answer re chicken vs egg: egg, as chickens evolved from dinosaurs and dinosaurs laid eggs i.e there were eggs before there were chickens. The question of which came first the chicken or the chicken egg is meaningless because as you say chicken eggs evolved coincidently with chickens (and vice versa!). The problem with the question of speed and furniture, is different in that neither has speed as an innate characteristic. If you dropped the two from an aircraft then it would come down to aerodynamics, otherwise it would come down to the size of the motor you strapped on them, or then again .... The question regarding fruit fails becaause it turns on a characteristic that is undefined: better for what? at what etc? None of this relates to post hoc ergo propter hoc though. LookingGlass (talk) 11:27, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Miswording[edit]

In the introduction the article contrasts cum hoc with post hoc and due to the wording makes it sound as if Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc places emphasis on chronology instead of post hoc. When in reality the exact inverse is true.

popular culture? (or something of the like)[edit]

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc is mentioned in the second episode of The West Wing as seen in Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

Video Discription:

After it, therefore, because of it - don't simply assume that because one thing follows another, the first thing caused the second thing to happen. A classic scene from the second episode of The West Wing, where Jed Bartlett admits that the reason he lost Texas was because he spoke latin.

Additional:

--Fresh Start (talk) 06:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The War on Democracy[edit]

In John Pilger's documentary 'The War on Democracy', during an interview with Roger Noriega (US Assistant Secretary of State), Noriega attempts to deflect Pilger's point saying that it is a logical fallacy - 'post hoc ergo propter hoc'. Pilger asks him to explain. Noriega says that just because the US provided funding to organisations that later attempted to overthrow the government of Venezuela, it doesn't follow that it happened *because* they provided the funding. This is interesting as an example - partly because the logical fallacy is actually named and described. It is also interesting because of the rhetorical trick Noriega himself seems to be using: reinterpreting Pilger's argument, which is about probable causality or degree (perhaps the funding tipped the balance? or made it easier?) and moral responsibility (should the US be funding coup plotters?) into one of formal logic.

The documentary is available online here (this segment is about 37-38 minutes in): http://www.johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-on-democracy —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.157.194.77 (talk) 18:44, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Talk page misuse (burn it!). lesion (talk) 04:31, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Related expressions[edit]

I know there are probably several sayings in different social contexts related to this fallacy. One I've heard from friends in the medical field is "True, true, unrelated" (eg, the patient saw a dog, comes down with the flu, but it is not likely that the dog caused the flu - even though they may narrate the events to the doctor with this implication). If people submit other common references to this fallacy, may be worth having a section for the readers' information..? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.143.110.154 (talk) 12:20, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

History of the term[edit]

I feel the article could benefit from some background about its history, fisrt recorded use etc. Thanks. lesion (talk) 04:33, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Use in popular entertainment[edit]

Sheldon Cooper used it in an episode of The Big Bang Theory 85.83.19.103 (talk) 18:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC)Dan Frederiksen

This is also the title of an Episode of the TV series "The West Wing" Series 1 Episode 2

80.229.243.128 (talk) 03:18, 30 December 2015 (UTC) Mabel

De-merge and clarify[edit]

There is an article on wiki titled Fallacy - about fallacious reasoning not simply fallacies - so there is no imperative to merge cum hoc ergo propter hochere (anymore than to merge condor with eagle though they are similar). It seems to me that cum hoc ergo propter hoc deserves its own article. I would do this but wonder itth the mergers wouldn't merge it back.

De-mergeing would focus this article more clearly on the argument post hoc ergo propter hoc, of which there are some interesting examples here http://www.outofthefog.net/Treatment/PostHocErgoPropterHoc.html While the first of these clearly illustrates the fallacy the others illustrate that statements in this form are not fallacies merely because of being stated in this form, something that could perhaps be made clearer here.

  1. A train always passes after the railroad crossing alarm sounds and the gates come down. Therefore the railroad crossing causes the train to pass.
  2. I wore my purple sweater and my team won against all the odds. Therefore I am going to wear that sweater to every game.
  3. Most divorced couples go to see a therapist before they separate. Therefore going to see a therapist will increase the chances that you will get a divorce.
  4. Children of divorce, on average, perform poorer academically. Therefore, if you get a divorce you will hurt your child's chances of going to college.
  5. Since we moved in together she has become very depressed. I feel like I've ruined her life.
  6. Since I stopped smoking we haven't had an argument. Who knew the answer could have been so simple?

The article could perhaps address how it is reconciled with statistical proof.
LookingGlass (talk) 11:09, 18 February 2014 (UTC)