Accident fallacy

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The Accident fallacy, or a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid, is when generalizations are applied to circumstances when they are otherwise flukes or exceptions. The broader the generalization, the weaker it tends to be, and is more prone to this type of fallacy. In other words, it is insisting that the rule of thumb applies even to the exceptions.


  • Example 1
  1. Cutting people is criminal
  2. Surgeons cut people
  3. Surgeons are criminals
  • Example 2
  1. God gives people meaning and purpose
  2. Atheists have meaning and purpose
  3. They believe in God, but are in denial

Converse Accident Fallacy[edit]

The Converse accident fallacy is similar to the accident fallacy, except, in reverse. The exception is used to justify a generalization.

  • Example 1
  1. Speeding on the roads is illegal
  2. The police can legally speed in an emergency
  3. I can legally speed if it's an emergency
  • Example 2
  1. God did evil things in pursuit of doing good, and still be good
  2. I'm trying to do good
  3. I can do evil things while still being good

v · d Logical fallacies
v · d Formal fallacies
Propositional logic   Affirming a disjunct · Affirming the consequent · Argument from fallacy · False dilemma · Denying the antecedent
Quantificational logic   Existential fallacy · Illicit conversion · Proof by example · Quantifier shift
Syllogistic   Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise · Exclusive premises · Necessity · Four-term fallacy · Illicit major · Illicit minor · Undistributed middle

v · d Faulty generalisations
General   Begging the question · Gambler's fallacy · Slippery slope · Equivocation · argumentum verbosium
Distribution fallacies   Fallacy of composition · Fallacy of division
Data mining   Cherry picking · Accident fallacy · Spotlight fallacy · Hasty generalization · Special pleading
Causation fallacies   Post hoc ergo propter hoc · Retrospective determinism · Suppressed correlative · Wrong direction
Ontological fallacies   Fallacy of reification · Pathetic fallacy · Loki's Wager
v · d False relevance
Appeals   Appeal to authority · Appeal to consequences · Appeal to emotion · Appeal to motive · Appeal to novelty · Appeal to tradition · Appeal to pity · Appeal to popularity · Appeal to poverty · Appeal to spite · Appeal to wealth · Sentimental fallacy · Argumentum ad baculum
Ad hominem   Ad hominem abusive · Reductio ad Hitlerum · Judgmental language · Straw man · Tu quoque · Poisoning the well
Genetic Fallacies   Genetic fallacy · Association fallacy · Appeal to tradition · Texas sharpshooter fallacy