0
  • "We are all making assumptions, as none of us except ____ were present..."

In such context wherein the italicized portion of the sentence has not actually been validated by the speaker, thus immediately qualifying the latter part of the sentence itself as an assumption.

I'm hesitant to call it "paradoxical", and I'm not sure "hypocritical" is much better either. I can't put a finger on it, but what would be a more suitable descriptor (not constrained to single-word or expression) that references the contradictory nature elicited from the statement in context?

4
  • 1
    Presumably the speaker has some knowledge about who was present, even if they weren't there. I can know to a practical level of certainty who was in a room without going in the room. Of course I can't know if there was someone who materialised there for a second or hid in the corner unseen by anyone, but generally we discount such highly improbable possibilities. All sentences require assumptions (except perhaps tautologies).
    – Stuart F
    Feb 23 at 10:11
  • "We are all making assumptions, as none of us with the possible exception of X were present" is certainly more felicitous (though if X has just said that they had been there, the precisionist statement is likely to be provocative). The original statement repeats the error it refers to (making a judgement with insufficient evidence), But synonyms of 'hypocrisy' all seem to involve criticism of character, not allowing for honest mistakes. Feb 23 at 12:03
  • I have to apologize to everyone, as I was trying to keep the OP concise but in the end only made the context too unspecific. @EdwinAshworth You've got it right on the nail, that's exactly the scenario I was attempting to portray.
    – Arctiic
    Feb 24 at 6:47
  • A 'paradox' is a seeming contradiction of ideas. There are no two ideas here that contrast. 'Hypocrisy' is doing something in contradiction to what one advises. There is no hypocrisy here (no one is saying one thing but doing another. You see two things here that differ - I see maybe people making assumptions and saying that people are making assumptions and that's it. If you want answers then you need to edit your question to explain exactly what it is in the situation that needs a label (or short descriptive phrase).
    – Mitch
    Mar 25 at 14:22

1 Answer 1

0

Your title asks about the sentence. The italicised part reveals the whole sentence as speculative, conjectural or suppositional. As such, it is open to contradiction, correction or refutation.

Cambridge

Suppositional:
the fact of believing something is true without any proof or something that you believe to be true without any proof

Speculative:
based on a guess and not on information

Conjectural:
based on how something seems and not on proof

4
  • Apologies if it wasn't clear, but I am asking about the whole sentence, specifically a descriptor that describes the contradictory or redundant nature of how the speaker directs "We are all making assumptions" at the recipient in a deprecatory connotation, despite proceeding that statement with the latter part of the sentence which utilizes the italicized portion as a fallacious basis for support.
    – Arctiic
    Feb 23 at 8:57
  • 2
    There is nothing fallacious here. First, as Stuart F has already explained, one can have knowledge about who was there, without having oneself been there. Second, the first part of the sentence is not about the one exceptional person who was present, but about everybody else, so the support for it is meant to be provided by the fact that the everybody else was absent, not by the italicised words about the exception.
    – jsw29
    Feb 23 at 17:00
  • @jsw29 I'm quite ashamed to be so inadequate at conveying my meaning here, but let me try this again. What I mean to say is that the context of this statement has already been established by myself (OP), and thus as an omnipotent observer, you have already verified through irrefutable means that the speaker has not in fact validated that ____ was actually present at the scene, making the basis for their derision itself the very thing they were foolishly deriding.
    – Arctiic
    Feb 24 at 7:08
  • 1
    @Arctiic, if that is so, then, according to you, yourself, there is nothing fallacious/paradoxical/self-contradictory or otherwise problematic within the sentence. If there is any kind of conflict in the scenario, it is between the critical attitude to others that the sentence expresses, and what you otherwise, from some sources outside the sentence, happen to know about the speaker's not taking such a critical attitude towards him/herself.
    – jsw29
    Feb 24 at 16:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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