fallacy of composition

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

fallacy of composition (plural fallacies of composition)

  1. A presumption that if something is true of part(s) of a whole, then it is true of the whole itself.
    • 1996 March 29, Noël Carroll, Theorizing the Moving Image, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521460492, OL 2683037W, page 229:
      A theorist who moves from the putative fact that every shot in a given nonfiction film represents a personal point-of-view to the conclusion that every nonfiction film is a personal vision commits the fallacy of composition.
    • 2012, “Conclusion: Psychology, Neuroscience, and Economics”, in David K. Levine editor, Is Behavioral Economics Doomed?: The Ordinary versus the Extraordinary, Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, ISBN 9781906924928, OL 25441080M, page 127:
      There is a small segment of the psychology literature that effectively commits a fallacy of composition, reasoning that if we can explain individual behavior, then this carries over immediately to the group.
    • 2013 August 5, Richard E. Creel, Philosophy of Religion: The Basics, Wiley Blackwell:
      The cosmological argument, according to Edwards, commits the fallacy of composition because it assumes that because each part of the universe is caused that therefore the universe as a whole must have a cause, but that doesn't take into account the possibility of an infinite regress of events.

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