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I often see people complaining about a politician, e.g. "X is terrible". But instead of evaluating X in an absolute sense, X should be compared with the other available options. So if X was running against Y, the correct question to ask would be "How good/bad is X as opposed to Y?". Or even better "How is X compared to other candidates past or present?"

Would this be a false monochotomy?

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  • 'Monochotomy', though admittedly listed in Wiktionary, is very rare and soesn't seem to have passed the idiomaticity tests for wordness applied by more demanding dictionary editorial panels. But 'false monochotomy' has very, very few tokens on the internet. Best rephrased at present. // 'Oh yes, dempocracy is the worst possible form of government. ... ... Apart from all the others' (Churchill). – Edwin Ashworth Mar 25 at 12:58
  • It's not even a monochotomy, because in saying "X is terrible", the speaker is invoking some absolute scale on which all candidates can be compared. Perhaps it might be better to say, "Among all options we have right now, which is the best?" – FeliniusRex Mar 25 at 13:47
  • @FeliniusRex "It's not even a monochotomy" that is exactly my point – Roland Apr 20 at 7:30
  • @Roland - I'm afraid that you've missed my point. A false dichotomy is false because it creates a dichotomy that incorrectly describes reality. What you're proposing does not create any sort of monochotomy, false or otherwise. – FeliniusRex Apr 20 at 12:30

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