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The Paper Chase

When strong evidence for a specific and falsifiable claim is presented, the response is a barrage of article and paper recommendations on larger and related questions instead of conceding the point of contention. It may be considered a type of slothful induction.

(I’ve been seeing this rhetorical move in my own conversations, and this incipient primer on this evasion will grow as I gather public examples.)


Elsewhere, I’ve called something like the Paper Chase The Rodeo Clown Fallacy. It falters into illogic not in virtue of being a false target (straw man, red herring), but by being an ever changing and ever elusive target. That is, it evades logic. Just as the horns of an argument are about to make their point, some guy in a clown suit yells, “Look over here!” This clown is certainly a legitimate target in his own right, but the problem is that there will forever be another rodeo clown ready to distract with a giggly, “Yeah, but what about that garishly dressed man yelling over there,” so no falsehood ever get gored.