Converse accident


Many generalizations have exceptions. For example, water is essential for life and one of the least toxic substances known to man, but there is a potentially fatal medical condition called hyperhydration in which the subject drinks so much water it affects their brain functions. It is very rare and usually results from water drinking competitions or over drinking after extensive exercise. The converse accident fallacy is made when the exception is taken to justify the conclusion. So in the previous example, hyperhydration can be fatal therefore water is toxic.  The fallacy focuses on the exception and ignores all of the other situations when the generalization applies.

Name of fallacy Converse accident
Type Denial Argument, Informal Argument
Description When an exception to a generalization is wrongly called for
Example All swans are white. This bird looks like a swan but is not white therefore it is not a swan.
Treatment The exception stops the generalization being tested. This a method of rejecting evidence and denial.