Bulverism

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Renée Bagslint
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Bulverism

Post by Renée Bagslint » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:50 pm

Another fallacious mode of reasoning that we see a lot on forums. The name was coined by C.S. Lewis, as a handy term for the fallacy of assuming that your opponent is worng and then explaining why.
C.S. Lewis wrote:In the course of the last fifteen years [writing in 1941] I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it "Bulverism". Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — "Oh you say that because you are a man." "At that moment", E. Bulver assures us, "there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall." That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.
It seems that Bulver will turn out to be no less one of the makers of the Twenty-First.

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Auggie
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Re: Bulverism

Post by Auggie » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:30 pm

Cool reference. I never heard that one.

Can I move this to Meta discussion?

Renée Bagslint
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Bulverism

Post by Renée Bagslint » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:40 pm

Auggie wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:30 pm
Can I move this to Meta discussion?
By all means.

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Auggie
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Re: Bulverism

Post by Auggie » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:09 pm

mod note: moved to Meta

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