The causation fallacies: oversimplification and exaggeration

The causation fallacies, known as oversimplification and exaggeration, occurs when a series of real causes for an event is either reduced or overstated to the extent that it distorts the truth. Multiple causes are reduced to just one or a few (oversimplification), or a few causes are multiplied into many (exaggeration).

For the sake of brevity, well-intentioned writers and speakers can fall into the trap of oversimplification. They may leave out too many details and omit critical information that needs to be included.

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What Are Oversimplification and Exaggeration Fallacies?

thoughtco.com

In the real world, events typically have multiple intersecting causes that work together to cause the events we see.

However, the complexities are often difficult to grasp and even harder to change, resulting in simplification. While the causes we cite may be true, it seldom is the sole or primary cause.

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An exaggeration fallacy is committed when irrelevant causal influences are added to the argument.

For example, "My client killed Joe Smith, but the cause for his violent behaviour was eating junk food which impaired his judgment." There is no clear link between junk food and violent behaviour, and the real causes end up being hidden behind irrelevant pseudo-causes.

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