Firmitas

Appeal to Novelty

Revision 1
© 2011-2019 by Zack Smith. All rights reserved.

Appeal to Novelty

This is also known as Argumentum ad novitatem.

This is the fallacy in which one argues that a secondary claim Q is true simply because the subject of the first claim P is new or modern.

  • Proposition P: Object or Person A is new or fresh.
  • Therefore Proposition Q is true e.g. that A is better. ]]

Normally P and Q refer to the same or related subject matter.

Examples

Social networking websites are new therefore they must be good, useful, or safe.

XYZ vaccine is new therefore it is beneficial, even if it causes secondary health problems, like death.

The third sequel to XYZ movie just came out, therefore we should spend $10 per ticket to watch it.

The new king is 15 years old, therefore he is better than his dead father who was 35.

Weaknesses

Whether something is new or modern often bears no connection to superiority, despite American culture's obsession with newness. Whether a new or old thing is superior has to be determined based on a full analysis of its merits, not merely on its newness.

It's not hard to attack a premature overestimation of the merits of a new or modern thing. Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is sobering.

Similarly it's not hard to spot a premature underestimation of things that are not new.