Gadarene Swine Fallacy Summary

Description: The assumption that because an individual is not in formation with the group, that the individual must be the one off course. It is possible that the one who appears off course is the only one on the right course.

Logical Form:

Person X stands out from the group.

Therefore, person X is wrong.

Example #1:

Why can’t your daughter fall in line like the other girls?

Explanation: The assumption here is that the “other girls” are doing the right thing. This needs to be established or demonstrated through reason and evidence.

Example #2:

Many people throughout history started revolutions by taking the morally right action when it was considered morally wrong or even illegal at the time. Consider Rosa Parks.

Exception: It is just as wrong to assume that the one is “out of formation” as it is to assume that all the rest must be “out of formation.” While it might be statistically more probable that the one is out of formation, evidence should be sought before making any definitive claim.

What Now: Compare this to the Galileo fallacy . You will see that being the oddball neither makes you right nor wrong.


Laing, R. D. (1990). The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise. Penguin Books Limited.