Affirming the Consequent Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy Definition
The fallacy of affirming the consequent is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone assumes that the first thing causes the second because one thing follows another. It occurs when someone makes an argument by asserting that if A then B, and therefore B because A.
- For example: “If I’m wearing my red shoes, then I must have gone to the store.” This may be true, but it does not logically follow that just because you are wearing your red shoes means you went to the store.
- Another example: “If this food contains peanuts, then it will say so on the label.” This may also be true, but again it does not logically follow from this statement alone that all foods with peanuts will have them mentioned on their labels.
- If you have a headache and take aspirin for it, then your headache will go away. This may be true in some cases, but not all.
There are many other examples of affirming the consequent fallacies in everyday life.
Material conditionals and Formal conditionals
The fallacy of affirming the consequent is committed when one infers that if A then B, but only concludes that B therefore A.
This fallacy can be avoided by distinguishing between two types of conditionals: material and formal.
Material conditionals are statements about how things happen in reality, while formal conditionals are statements about what follows from certain assumptions.
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy Examples
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy example in Philosophy
Examples of Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Philosophy:
The consequent fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when one infers that because B follows A, then A causes B.
For example, the following argument: “If I am wearing my red shirt, then it will be sunny outside.” However, if it is cloudy outside and I am wearing my red shirt, this does not mean that the sky will clear up just because of what I’m wearing
Another example would be: “I have been eating healthy for months now, and yet I still feel terrible.” This statement assumes that eating healthy leads to feeling good, but there are other factors at play here.
Affirming the Consequent Real-Life Examples
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Real Life:
The fallacy of affirming the consequent is a type of logical error that occurs when someone assumes that if one thing follows from another, then it must be the case that the first thing causes or leads to the second.
For example, “If I have a headache, then I must have been drinking.”
This is not always true because there are other reasons why someone might have a headache besides drinking alcohol.
Affirming the Consequent Examples in Media
Examples of Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Media:
The media often reports that a person is allegedly guilty of a crime but does not report on the individual’s innocence.
This is an example of affirming the consequent fallacy because it assumes that if A (the person committed a crime), then B (the media will report this).
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy Examples in Advertising
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Advertising:
The fallacy in advertising is when an advertiser assumes that a consumer will buy the product because of its quality or popularity.
An example of this is when Nike says, “Just do it,” and then lists all their products, which are assumed to be high quality.
Another example is when you see ads for new movies, and they say, “In theaters now!”
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Politics
Examples of Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Politics:
The consequent fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone assumes that the first must be the cause of the second if one thing follows another.
For example, many people believe that because Donald Trump has been elected president, he must have won because America wanted him to win and not Hillary Clinton.
This is an affirming-the-consequent fallacy because it’s impossible to know whether Trump won. After all, Americans wanted him to win or didn’t want Hillary Clinton.
Affirming the Consequent Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Movies:
The movie “The Sixth Sense” is an example of affirming the consequent fallacy because it presents a false conclusion that has been reached by faulty reasoning.
In this film, the protagonist sees dead people, and he comes to believe that he sees spirits from beyond.
However, as we learn later in the story, his ability to see ghosts was not due to any supernatural power but rather due to his own mental illness.
Affirming the Consequent Examples in Literature
Examples of Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in Literature:
An example of the fallacy is found in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.
The protagonist, a man with an unnamed mental illness, commits murder and then tries to convince himself that he did not commit it.
He thinks that if he can prove his sanity, he will avoid being punished for his crime.
However, this reasoning is fallacious because proving one’s sanity does not disprove committing a crime.
Affirming the Consequent Examples in News
Examples of Affirming the Consequent Fallacy in News:
Affirming the consequent fallacy is a logical error that occurs when someone assumes that because A implies B and B are true, then A must be true as well.
For example, if you are told, “If it rains today, I will bring an umbrella,” and it does rain on the day in question, you might think that this means the person always carries an umbrella with them.
However, just because it rained today doesn’t mean they always carry an umbrella with them; there could have been other factors (such as forgetting their umbrella at home).