The first type of fallacy of Composition arises when a person reasons from the characteristics of individual members of a class or group to a conclusion regarding the characteristics of the entire class or group (taken as a whole). More formally, the "reasoning" would look something like this.
Individual F things have characteristics A, B, C, etc.
Therefore, the (whole) class of F things has characteristics A, B, C, etc.
This line of reasoning is fallacious because the mere fact that individuals have certain characteristics does not, in itself, guarantee that the class (taken as a whole) has those characteristics.
You simply can't prove this claim, it's logically flawed.
Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 08-31-09 at 03:13 PM.
Wow. Am I awesome or what?
"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. "As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American Senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
I'm sure somebody, somewhere has run a study like I suggested. I just wish I could find one. I do think it's generally accepted though that liberals are just not as happy overall, so it's kinda a life thing I guess.
[sorry CaptainCourtesy, I'm going to generalize again! This doesn't mean that there aren't any happy liberals!].
I could meet a nice pit bull and faultily conclude that all pit bulls are nice. I think that would be composition.
But I'm saying "golden retrievers are nicer than pit bulls" that doesn't mean there aren't mean golden retrievers or nice pit bulls -- it's just talking to the overall likliehood.