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The fallacy of the single cause, also known as complex cause, causal oversimplification, causal reductionism, and reduction fallacy, is an
informal fallacy Informal fallacies are a type of incorrect argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Gre ...
of
questionable cause The questionable cause—also known as causal fallacy, false cause, or ''non causa pro causa'' ("non-cause for cause" in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured sys ...
that occurs when it is assumed that there is a single, simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly
sufficient causes In logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative, translit=logikḗ)Also related to (''logos''), "word, thought, idea, argument, ac ...
. It can be logically reduced to: " X caused Y; therefore, X was the only cause of Y" (although A,B,C...etc. also contributed to Y.) Causal
oversimplification The fallacy of the single cause, also known as complex cause, causal oversimplification, causal reductionism, and reduction fallacy, is an informal fallacy of questionable cause that occurs when it is assumed that there is a single, simple cause of ...
is a specific kind of
false dilemma A false dilemma, also referred to as false dichotomy, is an informal fallacy based on a premise that erroneously limits what options are available. The source of the fallacy lies not in an invalid form of inference but in a false premise. This pr ...
where conjoint possibilities are ignored. In other words, the possible causes are assumed to be "A or B or C" when "A and B and C" or "A and B and not C" (etc.) are not taken into consideration; i.e. the "or" is not exclusive.


See also

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References

{{Fallacies Causal fallacies