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Composition

Because the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued that the whole has that property. That whole may be either an object composed of different parts, or it may be a collection or set of individual members.

Examples
  1. The brick wall is six feet tall. Thus, the bricks in the wall are six feet tall.
  2. Germany is a militant country. Thus, each German is militant.
  3. Conventional bombs did more damage in W.W. II than nuclear bombs. Thus, a conventional bomb is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. (From Copi, p. 118)
Critique
Show that the properties in question are the properties of the whole, and not of each part or member or the whole. If necessary, describe the parts to show that they could not have the properties of the whole.

About Stephen Downes

Many kudos are owed to Stephen Downes, the logician who originally authored this list of fallacies and made it freely available on the Web. His basic structure remains. A mirror of Downes' original site can be found here.