The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation


Beware of those who peddle lists of fallacies. Such philosophers have never really done anything in their life. The purpose of misrepresentation is to cultivate ignorance – not irrationality. Mere failures in logic can be detected and resolved, but ignorance is harder to self-sense and much more difficult to dispel than either wrongness or Paulian ‘not-even-wrong’-ness. Hence ignorance is much more useful to agency.

The following is The Ethical Skeptic’s list, helpful in spotting not simply formal and informal logical fallacies, but also crooked argument, skilled lying, coercion, irrelevance, smoke & mirrors, inference tricks, narrative manipulation, and styles of club/agency thinking on the part of those who seek a pervasive cultivated ignorance – the fertile soil of their awesome insistence.

The TOKO is categorized by employment groupings so that it can function as a context appropriate resource in a critical review of an essay, imperious diatribe or publication by a thought-enforcing organization or entity.

To assist this, we have comprised the list inside an intuitive taxonomy of ten contextual categories of mischaracterization/misrepresentation:

You don’t grasp the beauty of the destruction of words.
Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?
In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

~ 1984, George Orwell

Over 3,000 Fallacies, Errors and Methods of Crooked Thinking
Grouped by Category of Misrepresentation

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 2 Nov 2009; Web,