Composition fallacy:

Conceptual Fallacy
Definition Example
When it is assumed that something true of the constituents of a whole must also necessarily be true of the whole. Paper money can be exchanged. An economy is composed of paper money, so an economy can be exchanged.
Also known as: distribution fallacy
  Notes
This is the converse of the division fallacy.

Case Study One

Were someone to argue “The average Canadian makes only 90% of what the average American makes, so Canada’s GDP is 90% of the GDP of the U.S.”, they would be committing the composition fallacy.


Case Study Two

If you were to suggest that, because the average Japanese is 90% certain that ghosts exist, 90% of Japanese believe in ghosts, you would be committing the composition fallacy.


Case Study Three

Even if you don’t like to eat sugar, flour, and eggs individually, it does not follow that you will not enjoy their composition in the form of a cake.


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


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