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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


Courses

Fallacy Detectors Part 1

Develop the skills to tackle logical fallacies through a series of 10 science-fiction videos with activities. Recommended for ages 8-12.

US$15

Symbolic Logic for Teens Part 1

Learn how to make sense of complicated arguments with 14 video lessons and activities. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

US$15

Worksheets

Symbolic Logic Worksheets icon

Symbolic Logic Worksheets

Worksheets covering the basics of symbolic logic for children ages 12 and up.

US$5

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 2-5 about superstitions, different perspectives, facts and opinions, the false dilemma fallacy, and probability.

US$10

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 5-8 about false memories, confirmation bias, Occam's razor, the strawman fallacy, and pareidolia.

US$10

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 8-12 about critical thinking, the appeal to nature fallacy, correlation versus causation, the placebo effect, and weasel words.

US$10

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 9 and up the statistical principles they need to analyze data rationally.

US$10