Saturday, May 02, 2009


I'm sure I've actually come across this before (although perhaps did not really recognize it), and I've definitely watched the relevant episode, but Wikipedia introduced me today to the Politician's Syllogism:

We must do something.
This is something.
Therefore, we must do this.

The article attributes it to the "Party Games" episode of Yes, Minister!; I don't recall it from the show, for some reason, but it certainly fits with the story of that episode. It's certainly both a better name and a better fallacy than most fallacies you run across in fallacy lists.

It's interesting to think of how one might analyze the fallacy here, though, since it seems to me that one could analyze it in several different ways. What do you think?

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