GARETH VAN ONSELEN: The DA’s ‘middle-ground fallacy’
Pragmatism and compromise are important and necessary component parts of politics, especially in an age of coalition governments
Among many logical fallacies, the argument to moderation (or argumentum ad temperantiam, if you want to be formal about it) is one of the more common errors in public debate.
It works like this: two opposing arguments exist — let’s say, people who believe oil is best, and people who believe water is best — and the conclusion they arrive at is that it some combination of oil and water is, in fact, best. In other words, a compromise or the middle ground is the solution. Hence the argument to moderation is also known as the “middle-ground fallacy”.