Examples, some are ridiculous: Someone refuses to buy a lab grown diamond because 'all diamonds are blood diamonds'.

We cannot buy a sports car because 'the trunks of sports cars are too small', even though this sports car has a larger than average trunk.

Someone refuses to drink wine because 'wine comes from France', even though this particular wine is from Chile.

  • Specious is the adjective that comes to mind, but there may be a better one.
    – Mick
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:03
  • talking a lot of baloney?
    – JMP
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:03
  • 1
    There are possible duplicates, eg Does this logical fallacy have a name?, but none give the general question. Nov 14, 2017 at 12:11
  • 1
    @Edwin has nailed it. All of the examples that you have provided are red herrings, although they are, of course, also specious.
    – Mick
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:24
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth - Yeah, this question is more generically worded and hence would make a good canonical Q&A. I've VTC your linked question as a dupe of this one.
    – AndyT
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


This is simply the association fallacy.

from Wikipedia:

An association fallacy is an informal inductive fallacy of the hasty-generalization or red-herring type and which asserts, by irrelevant association and often by appeal to emotion, that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another.

Two types of association fallacies are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association.

  • I'd like to see more answers before I accept because I think that "by irrelevant association and often by appeal to emotion" do not apply in this case.
    – OrigamiEye
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:12
  • 'Irrelevant association' is the nub of your question. 'Often' allows for 'not always'. Nov 14, 2017 at 12:16
  • Who decides an association is irrelevant? Maybe the wine drinker won't drink because wine is associated with France and they hate all things French. The same for diamonds, by buying any diamond it shows there is a market for diamonds, thus feeding a demand for blood diamonds.
    – OrigamiEye
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:37
  • You specified 'a general argument that upon inspection does not apply'. That means that someone has to be deciding that the association is irrelevant (here, pragmatics means that 'irrelevant to the argument' must be understood) / misleading. Nov 14, 2017 at 20:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.