Tag Archive: part to whole

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Common LSAT Logical Fallacies: Composition

Have you ever heard that inane little riddle, “Which weighs more, a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?” It’s gotta be bricks, they’re way heavier. Right?

The crux of this pissant’s play is the “ton,” of course; we’ve already established that their weights are equivalent. Thus, neither weighs more than the other. So why does anybody ever fall for something so silly?

We fall for it because we’re seduced by the Composition Fallacy. We believe, erroneously, that the things the ton is composed of has bearing on the weight of the whole. Such part-to-whole reasoning is not justified, for the same reason that you can’t make assumptions about a whole population based on the small subsection of people you’ve met.

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LSAT Logic Flaws on the Big Screen

We’re pretty close to the September LSAT, and I bet you’re pretty sick of thinking about it. Me too.

So rather than tackling a specific element of the test, or how you should be studying, or even talking law school applications, I want to turn your attention to one of society’s safe havens for logic flaws and faulty arguments: Hollywood.

Let’s take a look at the logical fallacies in three of the most famous lines in movie history.

1. “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men

This oft-quoted Sorkinism is one of the most well-known movie quotes ever, in part because it’s delivered by one of Hollywood’s greatest stars.