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False dilemma

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False dilemma, also called the either-or fallacy and the fallacy of false choice, is a mistake in logic that allows only two possibilities when more exist.

For example, there is "either-or fallacy" in saying that an apple must be green or red. The premise is that the apple is either one color or another; but this beginning is a mistake because some apples—not most—are other colors. In other words, most apples are red or green, but some are also yellow.

A "fallacy of false choice" may hide a deliberate attempt to eliminate the middle ground on an issue. Eldridge Cleaver used this tactic when he said: "You're either part of the solution or part of the problem."[1]

Related pages


  1. Shapiro, Fred R. (2006). Yale Book of Quotations, p. 158.

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