(John Woods, “Error”, Abstract)
“(…) I want now to turn to difficulties with logic’s customary treatment of error,
beginning with the fallacies. It is widely held that a pattern of reasoning is fallacious
when the following four conditions are met.
(1) The reasoning is erroneous.
(2) The reasoning is attractive, i.e., its appearance of correctness camouflages its
(3) The reasoning has universal appeal, i.e., it is widely employed across the lines of
sex, rank and culture.
(4) The reasoning is incorrigible, i.e., levels of post-diagnostic recidivism are high.
To this we may add a further condition.
(5) Fallacies are bad, i.e., they prevent the reasoning which they applied to achieve its goals, and they are symptoms of something wrong with the reasoning mechanisms
of those who commit them.
If, for the sake of euphony, we place the badness condition at the top of the list, we may form the obvious acronym, BEAUI, which picks up the first letter of the five defining features, beginning with “bad”.