Generalisation Fallacies

(1) Too little: The insistence that it is not justifiable to make any statement at all unless you can give a complete story, covering every detail; the refusal to draw general conclusions, or meaning of any kind, from the particular.G9

(2) Too much: A generalisation which misleads by:

a. asserting or assuming that what happened in one case, or a few cases, happens in most or all cases (Memory Fillers); or

b. by leaving out essential details; or

c. by failing to recognise exceptions.

In fact, it is dubious to think of either of these as a fallacy. Lean Logic asserts the case both for intense awareness of the local detail, and for using local detail to build principles as a frame of reference, allowing what is going on to be understood. The problem with generalisation arises because it may be done badly, not because it is attempted.


Related entries:

Lumpy Logic.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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