Beware the convincing explanation

Think 10 (28):17-26 (2011)
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Most advice for sharpening our thinking skills concerns how to avoid bad arguments. But argument is only one of the two basic forms of reasoning. The other is explanation, and it is equally susceptible to abuse. You may already be familiar with certain forms of explanatory malfeasance. One of the best known is circular explanation, in which the stated cause is just a different way of describing the effect. Here I'd like to introduce you to a less appreciated error of explanation. To my knowledge it has no widely accepted name, but I call it ???the convincing explanation???



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