What do you call someone or the action of a person who in an argument says one thing, but provides information to something that has nothing to do with what he was trying to prove?

  • 4
    Call him Barry for no reason, that'll confuse him :-) – Digital Lightcraft Jul 18 '16 at 8:09
  • A politician? – MonkeyZeus Jul 18 '16 at 17:58

That argument is called a "straw man fallacy" or sometimes a "straw man argument." If I were to do that to you, I'd make it seem like you said something you never said, something I could easily disprove, then I would proceed by doing so.

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    The Straw Man fallacy is more specifically about the focus of the argument - i.e. one changes the premise to something other than originally argued, and then attacks that premise. – Jeffrey Kemp Jul 18 '16 at 8:23
  • Straw men are but one of many forms of informal fallacy. For example, this could also be well-poisoning, or tu quoque, etc. – fectin Aug 1 '17 at 2:55

The word sophistry applies quite nicely;

NOUN (plural sophistries) [MASS NOUN] 1 The use of clever but false arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving: trying to argue that I had benefited in any way from the disaster was pure sophistry (OED)

However this does lack the connotation of under research or lack of evidence

  • I just learned this word this morning! However, sophistry usually refers to untrue statements, presented using deceitful language as facts. – USER_8675309 Jul 18 '16 at 19:17
  • Funny how Socrates was executed for Sophistry. – user126158 Jul 18 '16 at 20:13
  • I was mistaken. I confused it with equivocation. No idea why I confused them; they're not at all the same. – fectin Aug 4 '17 at 0:32

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