false choice

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false choice

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:30 pm

aaa
<2013 “In Egypt, U.S. Is Left With a Familiar False Choice – Washington's Predicament: Side With Either the Army or Islamists.”—The Wall Street Journal, 8 July>
Seems as though I oughta be familiar with this expression, but no, that’s false. (>:) However, in the above quote the meaning of false choice is almost self-explanatory. (<:)

FALSE CHOICE: A type of fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option; providing (most often) the false impression that there are just two options when there are actually more. A classic example is that of being given the choice between black or white when actually there is a third choice, gray, or even many more choices – shades of gray.

The above Wall Street Journal article then goes on to provide a third option:
The army's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi has left the U.S. with the same false choice it has grappled with for decades in Egypt: between the army on the one hand, and the Islamists in Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party on the other. . . Missing from this equation are the secular, technocratic young Egyptians who ought to be the best allies of the U.S. and democracy. They launched the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and they created the groundswell that just forced out Mr. Morsi.
WIKIPEDIA lists the following synonyms for false choice: False dilemma, false dichotomy, black-and/or-white thinking, the either-or fallacy, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of the false alternative, and the fallacy of the excluded middle. It also goes into some further detail.

The following quotes are from archived sources:
<1938 “Nazi Spokesman Accuses Cardinal of Demanding a ‘False Choice Between Fuehrer and Christ’”—Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), 13 October[/i]>

<1969 “Let us not, then, pose a false choice between meeting our responsibilities abroad and meeting the needs of our people at home.”—The Day (New London, Connecticut), 4 June>

<1992 “But over the years, as I have worked in this area, I have come to learn something that George Bush and his advisers still don't understand: I've come to reject the false choice between economic growth and environmental protection.”—Washington Post (D.C.), 23 April>

<2001 “Downing Street stressed again yesterday that it was a ‘false choice and a foolish choice’ to claim that Britain had to decide whether its future lay with North America or the EU.”— The Independent (London), 24 February>

<2009 “The Fallacy of False Choices: . . . President Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech in Oslo on Thursday featured one of his favorite rhetorical devices: the false choice.”— slate.com,10 December> [[article provides many examples of Obama presenting and rejecting the false choice]]

<2013 “Some people believe that we can either have a strong economy or a clean environment, but I know - and history has shown - that this is a false choice. We can protect our environment while simultaneously growing our economy . . .”—States News Service, 25 June> [[Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)]]
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Ken G – July 8, 2013
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Re: false choice

Post by tony h » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:44 pm

The Creator and The Creation (corrected) John Young 1870
First false Choice — " God could prevent, and did not."
Last edited by tony h on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: false choice

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:16 am

aaa
Tony, Nice find.

I wonder why the author used the spelling creaton for ‘creation.’ That variation in spelling doesn’t appear in the OED or any other dictionaries that I checked including Webster’s 1828 & 1913.
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Ken – July 10, 2013
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Re: false choice

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:48 am

I think it was a typo Ken, Amazon are selling THIS.
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Bob in Wales

Re: false choice

Post by tony h » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:32 pm

Bobinwales wrote:I think it was a typo Ken, Amazon are selling THIS.
I think you might be right !
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: false choice

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:04 am

.. a sort of posh way of saying "My way or the highway!" ..

WoZ thinking binary and coming up short
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: false choice

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:12 am

aaa
It is a typo all right, but an interesting one.

1) a) Google offers this online digital text which has has no cover and with the the zeroth page title in error, Creator and Creaton, and with the following first page correct, Creator and Creation.

xxb) Google offers this free eBook that again has the incorrect title, Creator and Creaton, on the newly minted cover and the correct spelling within on the title page inside.

2) Barnes Noble offers this and titles the book Creator and Creaton. I couldn't get inside the book but I assume that, like the above the title is spelled correctly within.

And as you mentioned Amazon is selling Creator and Creation and was the only of these books that I found which was being sold under the correct title.

Here’s my guess as to how this discrepancy occurred: For older digitized books, I'm guessing that originally companies often opted for creating a newer and flashy cover for modern consumption. And the word ‘Creation’ was inadvertently misspelled as ‘Creaton’ on the new cover by some otherwise respectable company (It may even have been a Google employee who fumbled – see cover 1b). But open the book and the title page has the correct spelling, ‘Creation.’ Those folks who created their new covers to the cue of whoever made the original mistake assumed the original folks knew what they were doing and never checked into the book to see that it was spelled differently there. Also, libraries picked up on the bogus title in their indexes and there we have it – a classic case of error propagation!
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Ken – July 13, 2013 (Cretins unite!)
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Re: false choice

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:58 am

In yesterday's World Wide Words newsletter, etymologist Michael Quinion cites another example of the phenomenon -- specifically, where hosophobia was mistakenly being substituted for nosophobia in a work of reference by people who should probably have known better.
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Re: false choice

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:10 pm

.. Ken >> and there we have it – a classic case of error propagation! .. sounds just like the WWW to me ..

WoZ the most handsome man in the world (true)
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

End of topic.
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