Post hoc ergo propter hoc  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "after this, therefore because of this", is a logical fallacy (of the questionable cause variety) that states "Since Y event followed X event, Y event must have been caused by X event." It is often shortened to simply post hoc. It is subtly different from the fallacy cum hoc ergo propter hoc, in which two things or events occur simultaneously or the chronological ordering is insignificant or unknown, also referred to as false cause, coincidental correlation, or correlation not causation.

Post hoc is a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence appears to be integral to causality. The fallacy lies in coming to a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors that might rule out the connection.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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