ESGS Logical Fallacies

Exclusion/Concealed Evidence


Also called Reporting Bias, Publication Bias, One-Sidedness, Card Stacking, Slanting, Suppressed Evidence.

Important evidence which would undermine an inductive argument is excluded from consideration. The requirement that all relevant information be included is called the "principle of total evidence".


This is a fallacy because excluding relevant evidence from consideration when inducting leads to wrong induction. If a physicist was to omit all experiments that prove his theory wrong, there is no way he can find a better one. See Richard Feynman's address "Cargo Cult Science" for a description of scientific integrity.


Jones is Albertan, and most Albertans vote Tory, so Jones will probably vote Tory.
The information left out is that Jones lives in Edmonton, and that most people in Edmonton vote Liberal or N.D.P.

The Leafs will probably win this game because they've won nine out of their last ten.
Eight of the Leafs' wins came over last place teams, and today they are playing the first place team.




Give the missing evidence and show that it changes the outcome of the inductive argument. Note that it is not sufficient simply to show that not all of the evidence was included; it must be shown that the missing evidence will change the conclusion.

© ESGS, 2002.