We Don’t Read That Trash

I came across a great example of a logical fallacy over at the good ol’ wikipedia:

We don’t read that trash. People who read that trash don’t appreciate real literature. Therefore, we appreciate real literature.

Usually, examples of logical reasoning do not show how they can be applied to everyday life.

  1. All men are mortal
  2. Socrates is a man
  3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal


  1. No fish are dogs
  2. No dogs can fly
  3. Therefore, all fish can fly

I can imagine someone new to the formal study of logic coming across this and thinking to themselves that syllogisms are only good for categorizing animal abilities or making completely obvious statements.

But that first example seems applicable to real life. How many times have you heard people try to separate themselves from one group in order to belong to some other group?

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