Is there a name for the debating technique of trying to advance a specious argument by passing off an fallacious assumption as an accepted truth?
The context for this was in a communication that I recently received from a colleague rebutting a theoretical paper he had read regarding biomolecular interactions and networks. You do not need to understand the subject matter to follow this, which I have abbreviated and simplified, and set out in a way to make the structure clear:
- Smith and Jones propose that this network of interactions is an important buffer against mutations…
- …but it is well known that anything can interact with anything else…
- …therefore the original proposal is patently incorrect.
- Argument to be rebutted
- Fallacious assumption (It is not true that “anything can interact with anything else”, at least in this context.)
- Erroneous conclusion
I emphasize that it is a name for the debating technique that I am after, not adjectives describing it or its components. I seem to remember there was as series in the Financial Times (London) on different techniques of rhetoric, all of which seemed to have Greek names. However none of those listed on pages such as this seem to fit the bill.