The “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

No True Scotsman

I thought I was fairly familiar with logical fallacies, but I had never heard of this one before today. “No True Scotsman” not only provides an intellectual response to two common Dem-witted “arguments” — i.e., “no true woman is Republican” and “no true black is Republican” — but also it comes complete with a funny video made by PBS!  What lib could argue with PBS?!  That would be like KILLING BIG BIIRD!!  LOL

The “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

Source:
http://twitchy.com/2014/11/16/richard-dawkins-uses-logical-fallacy-to-man-splain-feminism-video/

5 Comments

Filed under Logical Fallacies

5 responses to “The “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

  1. I LOVE it! Never heard of that one. Thought I’d heard them all.

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  2. I just learned about this one recently, too — how funny!

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  3. It just occurred to me today that this fallacy is the key to disputing one of the recent Feminist claims about the #shirtstorm business:

    The basis of their claim is that it doesn’t matter that a woman designed it and didn’t think it was sexist. All REAL women think it’s sexist.

    Of course, it DOES matter, because their claim to authority to speak for all women depends on women being a monolithic, unified seat of opinion. If that’s not true, and it’s obviously not, then they cannot speak for all women. Their claim becomes just the subjective opinion of a few.

    Thanks for the illumination, CtH!

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      I was pondering this and thought that groups like women and blacks are objective realities, whereas something like “Catholic” isn’t. It’s obvious that those who have never been baptized into the RCC or have renounced that baptism are NOT Catholic. But what about the ignorant, the lazy, the cafeteria, the fallen away and the CINO Catholics? At some point, you get to people like Nancy Pelosi who have automatically excommunicated themselves, something which BY DEFINITION means they are no longer true Catholics. And that’s not a Scotsman’s fallacy. It’s a simple statement of truth.

      This got me thinking about defining terms. IMHO, “female” should be based on owning XY chromosomes; I wouldn’t include transgenders in any discussion of what “real” women are. In addition, “woman” suggests an adult, so I’d include only those females who have reached the age of majority. This age could be variously defined biologically (the onset of menses), legally (18 in US) or according to some other age as defined one’s religion or culture. My point is that the term needs to be defined BEFORE beginning any discussion.

      Something similar would apply to racial, ethnic and national identities. What is a “Scotsman”? Someone born in Scotland? Someone who owns land in Scotland, has a mailing address there, is registered to vote there? Or is anyone whose ancestry is majority Scots or who just likes to go commando in plaid skirts acceptable? How about women?

      Without defining these terms, you can’t proceed. BUT, once you have defined terms, there isn’t much point in continuing, it seems to me there isn’t much point in continuing a discussion, since it takes only ONE exception to your new “rule” to prove it wrong.

      However, all this presupposes the people who arrogantly dismiss your exceptions with the Scotsman fallacy are playing “Using logic to seek truth.” They’re not. They’re playing “Shut up, stupid.”

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