The “post hoc ergo propter hoc” Fallacy

I was reading this witty book by the name ‘Plato and a Platypus Walk into A Bar’wherein philosophy has been explained using the medium of jokes.

Herein I came across this philosophy of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” Fallacy.  Quoting from the book:

The phrase describes the error of assuming that because one thing follows another, that thing was caused by the other.

It means ‘After this, therefore because of this.’

We all have encounters with incidents where someone reaches to a wrong deduction by following a wrong path of logic. Here is a joke from the book where this fallacy seems at work.

Every morning, she steps out onto her front stoop and
exclaims, “Let this house be safe from tigers!” Then she goes back
Finally, we said to her, “What’s that all about? There isn’t a tiger
within a thousand miles of here.”
And she said, “See? It works!”

The book is a must read. It brings philosophy, which people take to be something of lesser worth, closer to them. Happy reading 😉


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