Fallacy of Quoting out of Context

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Definition: Fallacy of Quoting out of Context

Quoting out of context is a trick which is used to hide the original intention behind a said statement and reflect some manipulated meaning by removing the important support information, thus quoting someone else’s statement without giving the context. It is more often intentional than by mistake. This fallacy is also known as Contextomy

The fallacy of quoting out of context is more often used in politics where opposition party quotes the statement of others in such a way that true intention is lost and manipulated meaning arises primarily because of absence of context.


i. There are two statements:

1. This has been the best movie which I have seen this year. I have seen only 1 movie this year.

2. This is a fantastic play if you don’t look for character development and plot.

ii. Now, if someone quotes these two sentences as follows:

1. “This has been the best movie which he has seen this year”

2. “This is a fantastic play”

Now, if you read two sentences of part (i) and part (ii), you will get different sense because the important part is removed in the second case, thus resulted in different meaning. This is called fallacy of quoting out of context.

Types of Arguments generated in this Fallacy:

i. Straw Man: In this argument, opponent quote someone else in order to misrepresent their intention.

ii. Appeal to authority: In this argument, opponent quotes an authority which misrepresent the position of authority in supporting something.



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