Generalities

Generalities

One error of logic that I see all the time that people make is that when someone makes a general statement, another person immediately pipes up with an anecdotal example of someone or something that does not conform to the rule, and thus presumably invalidating the previous statement. For instance, if I say  “Men are more likely to be into sports.”, and, someone else immediately says, “well, I’m a woman. And I like sports.”, As if the exception to the rule invalidates the generality. After all these are general statements, not absolute statements. We’re talking about a statistically significant portion of a group sharing a common characteristic, not that every member of the group will have that characteristic. So, just because there are. women who are really into sports, does not invalidate the statement that “Men tend to be more into sports than women.”. It is the exception that confirms the rule, but so often when people hear a generalization they automatically assume that it is an absolute statement, and all they have to do is find one particular example that contradicts it, and the whole generalization falls apart. Obviously this is nonsense. I also find this inability is to distinguish between an absolute rule and a generalization to be more common in women. But, that is just my impression, and not based on a sound scientific study, so I may be wrong.

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