By Richard Nordquist. Grammar & Composition Expert
Richard Nordquist, Ph.D. in British, is professor emeritus of rhetoric and British at Lance armstrong Atlantic Condition College and also the author of two grammar and composition textbooks for school freshmen, Writing Exercises (Macmillan) and Passages: A Author’s Guide (St. Martin’s Press). Richard has offered because the About.com Help guide to Grammar Composition since 2006.
Updated October 25, 2015.
A fallacy of oversimplification that provides a restricted quantity of options (usually two) while in reality more choices are available.
Examples and Observations:
- "A false dilemma arises whenever we allow ourselves to become convinced we have to choose from two and just two mutually exclusive options, when that’s false. Generally, if this rhetorical technique is used, among the options is unacceptable and repulsive, as the other may be the one the manipulator wants us to select. Whomever succumbs for this trap has thus designed a choice that’s forced, and therefore, of little value. Listed here are a couple of types of common false dilemmas:
- Either medicine can let you know that Ms. X was cured, or it’s a miracle. Medicine can’t let you know that she was cured. It is therefore magic.
- When we don’t reduce public spending, our economy will collapse.
- America: Like it or let it rest.
- The world couldn’t happen to be produced from nothing, therefore it should have been produced by a smart existence pressure.
Obviously it’s possible, utilizing the same process, to produce trilemmas, quadrilemmas, and so on. Every time it’s claimed (falsely) the listing of enumerated options is finished, which only one acceptable choice is hidden for the reason that list."
(Normand Baillargeon, A Brief Course in Intellectual Self-Defense. Seven Tales Press, 2008)
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- "Is U . s . suitable for your move? Think about: would you like (A) a seamless professional move? Or (B) your property focused on fire? (A) technology experts to setup your house network? Or (B) raccoons to operate amok together with your electronics? (A) portable containers to maneuver yourself? Or (B) complete chaos? Should you clarified A. call U . s .."
(television commercial for U . s . Van Lines, 2011)
- "Proposed solutions often times have an either/or fallacy: ’Either we ban boxing or countless youthful men is going to be senselessly wiped out.’ Another alternative would be to change boxing’s rules or equipment. ’If we don’t provide maqui berry farmers with low-interest loans, they’ll go under.’ Growing prices for farm products may well be a better alternative."
(Stephen Reid, The Prentice Hall Guide for school Authors. fifth erectile dysfunction. 2000)
- A Morton’s Fork
"’Roll Over or Get Tough’ is really a false dichotomy: rather of either passing Fox’s rate hikes to the customer or depriving him of 24. Time Warner Cable could absorb the elevated price of programming itself. In logic, an option between two uncomfortable options is known as a Morton’s Fork (also referred to as ’between a rock along with a hard place’), after John Morton, a Lord Chancellor under Henry VII, who stated that individuals who resided well were wealthy, and may therefore pay high taxes, while individuals who resided modestly had savings, and may also pay high taxes. Mark Turner, a professor of cognitive science at Situation Western Reserve, described that point Warner’s utilisation of the forced-choice device was wise in the perspective of behavior financial aspects. To make choices, individuals need their options narrowed ahead of time. Turner stated, ’"By land or by ocean"–that really means "by any means whatsoever," but, even if you possess a continuum, you are able to represent it with a pole, which really catches people’s attention.’ This principle wasn’t lost around the producers from the horror movie Zombieland. whose posters, this summer time, featured the tagline ’Nut Up or Shut Up.’"
(Lauren Collins, "King Kong versus. Godzilla." The Brand New Yorker. The month of january 11, 2010)
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Also Referred To As: either-or fallacy, the excluded middle, the black and white-colored fallacy