Logical Fallacies
Logical Fallacies / Ambiguity

Ambiguity

The fallacy of ambiguity refers to the use of a double meaning or an unclear descriptive applied to mislead or misrepresent the truth. Then changing the meaning of the terms later.

Example of Ambiguity

  • Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." (He later redefined the term "sexual relations" in the broad categorical understanding of that word, as opposed to the specific aspect which he was guilty of.)
  • I know John very well. He would never do 'x'. The 'know very well' is a vague claim, which cannot be readily verified.

Note
  • Alternative Name: Hedging
  • Ambiguity is a fallacious argument often used by politicians.