Is it still equivocation when a listener willfully misinterprets a speaker’s words?

What are examples of equivocation?

The fallacy of equivocation occurs when a key term or phrase in an argument is used in an ambiguous way, with one meaning in one portion of the argument and then another meaning in another portion of the argument. Examples: I have the right to watch “The Real World.” Therefore it’s right for me to watch the show.

What is equivocation in communication?

Equivocation is ambiguous, indirect, or otherwise unclear communication; it “says something without really saying it.” First, we developed a method for measuring equivocation precisely and showing empirically that equivocations are not lies.

What does equivocation in language mean?

Equivocation is the deliberate use of vague or ambiguous language, with the intent of deceiving others or avoiding commitment to a specific stance. For example, when a person is asked a direct yes-or-no question, and gives a vague response that doesn’t answer the question, that person is equivocating.

What does false equivocation mean?

False equivalence is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone incorrectly asserts that two or more things are equivalent, simply because they share some characteristics, despite the fact that there are also notable differences between them.

How do you use equivocation in a sentence?

1. Using equivocation, the devious child said “I guess someone took it” when his mother asked him about the money the had stolen from her purse. 2. The dishonest car salesman was careful with his speech, using equivocation to con the buyers into thinking the van was a good car without actually lying.

What is the difference between equivocation and Amphiboly?

verbal fallacies: those due to equivocation, amphiboly, combination or division of words, accent, and form of expression. Whereas equivocation involves the ambiguity of a single word, amphiboly consists of the ambiguity of a complex expression (e.g., “I shot an elephant in my pajamas”).

Why is equivocation used?

Equivocation allows the writer or speaker to avoid making a firm commitment to any particular position, which is a useful – though very deceptive – way of avoiding counterarguments or hard questions. In formal arguments, equivocation can be used to make a deceptively persuasive argument.

Can you equivocate someone?

“Equivocation,” though, means evasion. An “equivocal statement,” as Merriam-Webster says, is “subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse.” Someone who is being “equivocal” is not only not saying that two sides are equal, they’re deliberately avoiding alignment with either side.

What is the logical fallacy of equivocation?

The fallacy of equivocation arises when someone uses the same phrase to mean two different things in a way that renders the argument unsound. It’s a type of logical fallacy and, more specifically, falls into the category of informal fallacies. An example would be: “Singer X is a real star.

Is equivocation a formal fallacy?

In logic, equivocation (‘calling two different things by the same name’) is an informal fallacy resulting from the use of a particular word/expression in multiple senses within an argument.

What is an Amphiboly example?

verbal fallacies
(2) Amphiboly occurs when the grammar of a statement is such that several distinct meanings can obtain (example: “The governor says, ‘Save soap and waste paper. ‘ So soap is more valuable than paper.”).

When a fallacy of equivocation is committed the arguer is usually responding to an ambiguous statement made by someone else?

When a fallacy of equivocation is committed, the arguer is usually responding to an ambiguous statement made by someone else. A “leading question” is distinct from a “complex question.” An arguer may commit the fallacy of false dichotomy by reasoning in a circle.

What is another name for equivocation fallacy?

Equivocation is a fallacy by which a specific word or phrase in an argument is used with more than one meaning. It’s also known as semantic equivocation.

On which type of ambiguity is the fallacy of equivocation based?

Equivocation. (Also known as doublespeak) A fallacy that occurs when one uses an ambiguous term or phrase in more than one sense, thus rendering the argument misleading. The ambiguity in this fallacy is lexical and not grammatical, meaning the term or phrase that is ambiguous has two distinct meanings.

What is an example of a fallacy of ambiguity?

For example: “All beetles have six legs. John Lennon is a Beatle, so John Lennon has six legs.” We can render the above argument valid (but not sound) by adding the premiss “All Beatles are beetles.” The two syllogisms that comprise the sorites are, then, “All beetles have six legs.

What are the five fallacies of ambiguity?


  • 1.1 Equivocation.
  • 1.2 Amphiboly.
  • 1.3 Accent.
  • 1.4 Composition.
  • 1.5 Division.
  • 1.6 Assignment.

What are the three types of ambiguity?

Three types of ambiguity are categorised as potential ambiguity: lexical, syntactical, and inflective.

  • Lexical Ambiguity. Lexical ambiguity is the most commonly known form of ambiguity (Reilly 1991; Walton 1996). …
  • Syntactical Ambiguity. …
  • Inflective Ambiguity.