Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fallacious or illogical argument or conclusion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fallacious argument or illogical conclusion, especially one committed by mistake, or believed by the speaker to be logical.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A reasoning which is false in point of form, that is, which is contrary to logical rules or formulæ; a formal fallacy, or pseudo-syllogism, in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In logic, fallacious argument or false reasoning; reasoning which is false in form—that is, in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises; a conclusion unwarranted by the premises.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unintentionally invalid argument

Etymologies

Late Latin paralogismus, from Greek paralogismos, from paralogos, unreasonable : para-, beyond; see para-1 + logos, reason; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French paralogisme, form Latin paralogismus, from Ancient Greek παραλογισμός. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There lurks in the procedure of rational Psychology a paralogism, which is represented in the following syllogism:

    The Critique of Pure Reason

  • The attack on the third paralogism focuses on what can be inferred from unified consciousness over time.

    Kant's View of the Mind and Consciousness of Self

  • A transcendental paralogism, according to Kant, is a “syllogism in which one is constrained, by a transcendental ground, to draw a formally invalid conclusion” (A341/B399).

    Kant's Critique of Metaphysics

  • Kant, for example, argued for a dissociation here, in his famous critique of the third paralogism.

    The Unity of Consciousness

  • Now, truly, this is the same paralogism: who says we are in the truth? others? no, ourselves.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • From the asserting of the authority and description of the duty of the magistrate, Rom. xiii., the argument is very easy that is produced for the suppressing by external force of erroneous persona The paralogism is so foul and notorious in this arguing -- "He is to suppress evil deeds; heresy is an evil deed: therefore that also" that it needs no confutation.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • This being considered, the occasion of a most frequent paralogism is removed.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • Wherefore, if any pretend, in the exercise of reason, to conclude unto any thing concerning the nature, being, or will of God, that is directly contradictory unto those principles and dictates, it is no divine revelation unto our reason, but a paralogism from the defect of reason in its exercise.

    Pneumatologia

  • Pliny not to seek us out, but yet to punish us if we were known; — what a paralogism!

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon

  • The paralogism included in the very enunciation of the parallelist thesis is explained in a memoire presented to the Geneva

    A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson

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  • A piece of illogical or fallacious reasoning, esp. one that appears superficially logical or that the reasoner believes to be logical.

    February 1, 2008