Genetic fallacy

The title refers to the genetic fallacy as committed in argumentation and not to any errors concerning the genetic code.

The genetic fallacy is a subtype of irrelevant, red herring, and etymological fallacies.

The genetic fallacy involves irrelevancy based upon the history of the idea. It is fallacious to argue for or against an idea solely on its past merits or demerits, unless past merits or demerits actually affect the idea's present value. The genetic fallacy is committed whenever evaluation of an idea is based upon irrelevant history. How an idea came to be formulated is part of the idea's history.

Associated fallacies include: fallacious ad hominem, appeal to false authority, and etymological fallacy.

However, the origin of evidence can be relevant to the evaluation of the evidence, particularly in historical investigations. Similarly, the origin, or expertise, of testimony is relevant to evaluation of the merit of testimony. Equally, psychological phenomena are necessarily founded in human psychology.

In contrast, because scientific hypotheses are founded in empiricism, they can be objectively evaluated according to established knowledge and techniques, rendering the origin or history of the hypothesis (though interesting in many instances) irrelevant to evaluation of its content.

Theologian, William Lane Craig, who ought to know better, misuses the concept of genetic fallacy to attack anti-theistic arguments that point out the psychology-driven anthropogenic origins of mythologies.



apologetics, fallacies of logic, William Lane Craig,

No comments: