Middle Ground Fallacy

“Bob thinks the sky is yellow and Sally thinks the sky is blue, so let’s compromise and say the sky is green.”

You commit the middle ground fallacy when you assume that the truth must lie somewhere in the middle of two conflicting positions. It is possible for one person to be right and the other wrong—or for both people to be wrong. Similarly, it is a fallacy to assume it is always best to find a compromise when two people want different things.

Other examples of the middle ground fallacy:

  • One doctor advises you to take of antibiotics for 6 days, but another doctor tells you that you do not need antibiotics at all, so you decide to take antibiotics for 3 days.
  • A developer asks the mayor for permission to build a 20-story building on a slope, but a geologist warns that nothing at all should be built on that slope due to landslide risks. The mayor permits the developer to build a 10-story building.

The middle ground fallacy can lead to both incorrect conclusions and ineffective solutions. 

Back to the Logical Fallacy Handbook