Abstraction denial:

Conceptual Fallacy
Definition Example
When an abstraction is denied existence or agency by claiming the underlying substrate is the actual theater of agency. You can’t claim that computers “work” since it is, in fact, merely the transistors that are doing the actual processing.
  Notes
In most cases, any individual who denies the emergent properties of any abstracted concept can be shown to be inconsistent by asking whether they believe in other emergent properties such as economic recessions, bird migrations, fashion trends, and insect swarming.

Case Study One

Some have argued that it is wrong to say “science works” since it takes an actual scientist to do science. This is to deny the ability (and goal) of science as an institution to minimize subjective error in the quest for truth by taking the process out of the hands of its constituents (subjective scientists) and to place it in the hands of a method that includes peer review to maximize objectivity.


Case Study Two

One related issue is linguistic meaning. Some erroneously suggest that words themselves possess meaning rather the linguistic community in which those words are employed. Linguistic meaning is a product of convention, and is not immutably contained in the word itself. This causes individuals to irrationally demand others to adopt their own denotation of a term rather than simply seeking a common term that allows the accurate communication of the concept.


Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: