Fallacies – Circular Cause and Consequence

The consequence of the phenomenon is claimed to be its root cause.

Example: “Sue is lethargic and has poor hygiene habits, therefore, she is depressed.” (In other words, Sue is depressed because she’s lethargic and has poor hygiene habits.)

Here, the consequences (lethargy, poor hygiene) of the phenomenon (depression) are being claimed as the root causes of the phenomenon.

The root causes of depression may be physiological, genetic, emotional, trauma-related, and/or spiritual. Yet some of the signs (symptoms or consequences) of depression tend to be mistaken for the root cause(s) (e.g. someone’s depressed because they’re “lazy”, rather than “lazy” because they’re depressed).

circular cause and consequence illustration


© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

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