The Transparency Fallacy

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Who is not a fan of informal logic? Who can resist the exploration of the subtle mis-turns of reasoning that lead us into the swamp of error?

In honor of professor whatshisname, who was gracious enough to let me pass his logic class, I induct an Internet-age fallacy into the great book of fallacies.

It’s called the Transparency Fallacy, defined as an appeal to social transparency. It can apply to individuals, but I see this as applying mainly to organizations.

Here’s a couple of examples of the fallacy in action:

There can’t be a problem in what Bill said, his reasoning was spelled out.

Trust us–our decisions are a matter of public record.

And because no fallacy deserves to be without a Latin translation, I invoke the google translator and dub the fallacy argumentum ad diaphaneitas.

Unfortunately, the term already exists, but in a different context. ┬áJohn Fiske used ‘transparency fallacy’ in reference to the ostensible neutrality of TV news. Since that usage isn’t as relevant anymore (we are post-Fox after all), I will claim the term for a new era.

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