Meaning of Paralogism (What it is, Concept and Definition)

What is Paralogism:

It is known as paralogism to the false or incorrect reasoning carried out in good faith due to lack of awareness of its deceit or falsity. The word paralogism is of Latin origin “paralogismus”and this one from the Greek “παραλογισμός” either “reflection”.

Immanuel Kant, gave it the name of transcendental paralogism, or psychological paralogism, the dialects by which they are called “rational psychology” supposes being able to demonstrate the following: the substantiality of the soul, simplicity, personality, and the problematic, dubious character of all existence that does not be that of the thinking subject.

In relation to the above, for Kant a paralogism is reached with the confusion of the unity of the “I think” with the transcendental unity of the I as a simple entity and as a personality (soul). For his part, for Aristotle, any false syllogism corresponds to a paralogism due to its ambiguous premise.

As such, paralogism is invalid reasoning, not intended to deceive with the use of illogical, meaningless language. In the field of law, the paralogism has the form of a syllogism or enthymeme (major premise, minor premise and conclusion), therefore, for the German lawyer, professor and politician Ulrick Klug, there are various types of paralogism, such as:

Semantic paralogism occurs when there is a contradiction in the premises, and therefore, the conclusion does not derive from them. Syntactic paralogism arises due to the ambiguity, obscurity, vagueness, and lack of definition of the words that form the premises. Pragmatic paralogism , does not present incoherence between the premises and conclusion, but a lack of credibility because the premises lack justification. Definition displacement paralogism originates from the appearance in the premise of a word with two different meanings.

For more information, see the article syllogism.

Paralogism is the antithetical of sophism, the latter being used with a certain pejorative matrix, which includes the intention to deceive, being an act produced with awareness of falsehood. And that is why it is important not to make the mistake of establishing sophism as a synonym for paralogism, due to their difference in their way of acting.

For more information, see the sophistry article.

In English, the term paralogism is “paralogism” either “false reasoning”.

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