Tag Archives: homo invisibilis

Invisible man

Over lunch at La Unica, a friend of mine (also philosophy professor) thought he would try his hand at fallacy schematization.  Inspired by the super-hero theme of the "-man" fallacies–the marvel comics collection of straw, weak, hollow, and iron man, he thought that there ought also to be "invisible man"–if only for the sake of symmetry.

And sure enough it didn't take long to come up with it.  Normally the fallacy name is invented after the phenomenon is identified; in this case, the name was identified and we went in search of the phenomenon.

Here it is:  

One alleges, falsely, that one's argument is strengthened by the fact that people ignore it; their not critiquing your argument is evidence of their inability to critique it.

Thus, you have an invisible man.

Classic example, I think, would the be fringe blogger who complains that the no addresses his super salient points because they are afraid, and therefore he is right.  No real life examples at the moment.  I'll look for them.

One will notice close affinities with the argument from ignorance (the argumentum ad ignorantiam) wherein one argues that the absence of evidence for/against p is sufficient to prove p (when it isn't of course).  

My friend came up with another one.  Maybe tomorrow.