Category Archives: Equivocation

I define the terms here

Ross Kaminsky holds that the popular appellation “libertarian populist” (see Ross Douthat’s recent column) is a contradiction in terms.  In short, because ‘libertarian’ is about freedom, and populism has “nothing to do with freedom”.  Now, first, that’s not yet a … Continue reading

Posted in category mistake, Equivocation, Fallacies of ambiguity | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Contested concept equivocation

I’ve been toying for a while with the thought that there’s a rhetorical device that works in the following pattern: you point to an uncontroversially positive concept and emphasize its importance, and in the process import your own controversial conception … Continue reading

Posted in Equivocation | 3 Comments

True tolerance

Chris Broussard at ESPN said that Jason Collins, the NBA player who’s come out as gay, isn’t a true Christian and is “in open rebellion to God.”  So what?  Well, he got some blowback from a variety of sources.  So … Continue reading

Posted in Ad hominem circumstantial, Argument from Double Standards, Equivocation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Doctor, but not a real one

A quick lesson on equivocation and how not to charge that it’s occurring.  Charles Cooke has a piece over at NRO about how Jill Biden, who has a Ed.D., has been tweeting under the handle ‘DrBiden’.  The tweets have been … Continue reading

Posted in Equivocation | Tagged | 5 Comments

Reduce, reuse, recyle

Fig.1: Conservativism Here is a post for those who think that pointing out the inconsistency between a party’s name and its alleged position on an issue constitutes a decisive refutation of their view.  That “conservatives” fail to “conserve” or “preserve” … Continue reading

Posted in Argument from Inconsistency, Equivocation, George Will | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Adventures in false dilemmas

Here's the title of Howard Rich's post at American Spectator. Barack Obama: Socialist or Nouveau Fascist? Rich argues that Socialism isn't quite right about Obama's policies, as he does let many who have done well keep their spoils.  So it's … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, Complex Question, Equivocation, False Dichotomy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Stop contradicting yourself

Check out the image: Yes, this is exactly what diversity means.  This reminds me of a classic George Will argument (with the same equivocation) against "Liberals." Although liberals give lip service to "diversity," they often treat federalism as an annoying … Continue reading

Posted in Equivocation, George Will | Tagged , | 2 Comments

How equivocations work

Offhand I can think of two uses for deploying the subtle semantic strategy called "equivocation."  The first is to cover up the fact that you're lying about something; the second is to make it look like someone else is lying … Continue reading

Posted in Equivocation, General discussion | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Richie Rich

In the interst of fairness (perhaps) to those who frankly have a lot of money and influence, the Washington Post provides us with a  mythbusting piece about millionaires.  The first myth, you might be shocked to hear, is the following: 1. Millionaires … Continue reading

Posted in Equivocation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

You’re soaking in it!

It's been a long time since I've read Stanley Fish's column in the New York Times Online.  One reason is that I'm semi-boycotting the Times and their paywall; the other reason is that Fish is a terrible columnist.  Thankfully he's … Continue reading

Posted in Equivocation, Stanley Fish | Tagged , , | 5 Comments