Tag Archive: whole to part

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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.