Black-swan fallacy

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The black-swan fallacy is an inductive fallacy that states that if something has not occurred within the speaker's experience, it cannot occur. In other words, the fallacy states that just because something has always been a certain way in the speaker's experience, it is always that way as a matter of universal principle. The example that gave its name to the fallacy is "Every swan that I have ever seen is white; therefore, there are no black swans."

Related fallacies

If the speaker suppresses evidence of black swans, the fallacy becomes the cherry-picking fallacy. If the speaker is shown evidence of a black swan and maintains the position, the fallacy becomes the fallacy of invincible ignorance if the speaker simply ignores that evidence or the no true Scotsman fallacy if the speaker attempts to explain away that evidence. If the speaker keeps giving examples of white swans, the fallacy becomes the ad nauseam fallacy.

See also