This fallacy occurs when a general rule is applied to a specific case it was not intended to cover:
Typically, the general rule is implied in the premises and then wrongly applied to the specific case mentioned in the conclusion.
Note: the opposite fallacy is called "converse accident" or hasty generalization.
- The law says that you should not travel faster than 55 mph, thus even though your father could not breathe, you should not have travelled faster than 55 mph.
- It is good to return things you have borrowed. Therefore, you should return this automatic rifle from the madman you borrowed it from.
- Freedom of speech is a constitutionally protected right. Therefore, John Radical should not have been arrested for his speech that incited the riot last week.
Proof: Identify the generalization in question and show that it is not a universal generalization. Then show that the circumstances of this case suggest that the generalization ought not to apply.
Copi and Cohen: 100; Hurley: 125.