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Species of speciousness 4: false analogy

By Tom Chatfield  

This is a simple and self-evidently fallacious technique, yet it would be difficult to find an author who has not, at some stage, indulged it to some degree—largely because all analogies that aren’t actually tautologies are not, strictly speaking, true in logical terms. The following extract, however, shows how important questions of degree are—along with the elusive question of what we judge to be reasonable or unreasonable. In the spirit of a debate currently animating Prospect’s blog and postbag, it is taken from Peter Hitchens’s review in the Daily Mail of his brother Christopher’s God is not Great:


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