Are there Japanese terms for logical fallacies, or are the English phrases used when they are discussed? If you're wondering what I mean by "logical fallacies," I mean anything on this list, courtesy of Wikipedia. How would we discuss things like "begging the question" or a "straw man" fallacy? Japan might not have the history of philosophy that Europe does, but at least things at this level you could encounter in everyday speech--how would I point it out to someone in Japanese?

EDIT: Since my original question was somewhat ambiguous, I'll clarify: I'm looking for terms for the individual fallacies themselves, not the term one would use to describe the category. For example, I looked it up, and there is a specific term for "confirmation bias" (確証{かくしょう}バイアス), but I was unable to find many others I searched for, such as "onus probandi/burden of proof," or "post hoc (ergo propter hoc)." What I want to know is if there are any accepted words in Japanese that correspond, even loosely, to these fallacies, and if not, how they could be otherwise represented.

  • 詭弁............................................................................
    – user4092
    Jul 17, 2016 at 8:13
  • @user4092 That's a general term--I meant terms for each specific instance. But reviewing my wording, I can see how the question didn't properly communicate that. My bad--I'll edit it.
    – Kurausukun
    Jul 17, 2016 at 8:24
  • 2
    word is 誤謬. Regular Japanese don't know use it with any regularity and won't expect it from a foreigner conversationally. They also generally don't encounter the words that specify specific ones: ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%AA%A4%E8%AC%AC
    – virmaior
    Jul 17, 2016 at 12:44
  • @virmaior Thanks, that's basically what I was looking for. Also, even many English-speaking people aren't familiar with a good number of these terms, so I don't expect people to know them immediately. This was mostly just curiosity.
    – Kurausukun
    Jul 17, 2016 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


Probably there is no established set of sophisticated words you can safely use in Japanese. Most of the words listed in 誤謬 and 詭弁 are totally unfamiliar to me. Actually, I think I have visited these pages a few times before, but they didn't seem to be worth memorizing to me because no one use them in real life :D

As an exception, to refer to "straw man", its direct translations, 藁人形論法/ストローマン, are relatively well-known among people who like debates. Still, I would say you should avoid using this nearly all the time in real discussions.

Some concepts may be explained using easier words. When you want to say straw man, you can probably say "論点のすり替え" (although this may have broader sense than straw man) or "言ってもいないことをさも言ったかのように言う".

And 確証バイアス, 選択バイアス, 交絡バイアス, etc. are words commonly known to researchers of natural science who need to know statistical analysis. These are explained in textbooks of statistics.

  • Thanks. I would say that even in English, most people who haven't taken a philosophy or similar course would not know any but the most common of the words on the list, so I don't expect to be using them much anyway.
    – Kurausukun
    Jul 18, 2016 at 0:01
  • 「循環論法」「相関と因果の取り違え」「早すぎる一般化」などはよく聞く気がしますね。まあそういう分野だからかもしれないですが… Jul 18, 2016 at 18:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .