Person A. % + # is 2

Person B. I'm not so sure it is.

Person A. So you don't think it's 2?

Person B. there are a lot of factors we don't know yet.

Person A. All the evidence is inferring its 2.

Person B. But it could be 3 or 4 we don't know yet.

% + # is proven to be 2.

Person A. See it was 2.

Person B. I never said it was not 2.

What do you call person B, or what is it that they are doing?

  • You need to learn the difference between "imply" and "infer". – Barmar Oct 25 at 19:56
  • Philosophy is the usual place to ask questions about types of arguments and fallacies. – Barmar Oct 25 at 19:57
  • Person B is doing nothing less than stating their skepticism or uncertainty. (They are stating a fact in the final sentence.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 26 at 17:32

It's an example of the straw man fallacy which Wikipedia defines as "a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent."

There are a lot of names for logical fallacies (Wikipedia, RationalWiki) so there may be a more precise term for a particular variation.

  • I looked a lot of those up before posting, My problem with calling this a straw man fallacy, is it does not seem as if person b is refuting a different argument. Just that they never said those other things. – Questions Oct 24 at 10:31

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