Critical Thinking Fallacies: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc [5:42]


The name of this logical fallacy is Latin for “after this, therefore because of this.”  It’s one of the most common logical fallacies, and can also be one of the trickiest.  The video provides a clear discussion and good examples of this fallacy.

Discussion Questions

  • What is the fallacy in your own words?
  • Why can’t we assume two things are related just because one follows the other?
  • Hume was famous for saying that we never observe ‘causation’ itself, but only ever see patterns of one thing following another.  Does this mean we must commit this fallacy then?
  • How can we know one thing really causes another thing?  Maybe, like Hume, we just coincidentally keep seeing one precede the other?

Keywords: philosophy, critical thinking, epistemology, metaphysics, logical fallacy, causation, Hume


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