Oversimplifications, and fallacies

One of the traps in systems thinking lies in the risk of quest for isomorphies.

General systems theorists strive to find concepts, principles and patterns between differing systems so that they can be readily applied and transferred from one system to another.

… says the entry for " Systems Theory/Isomorphic Systems" on Wikibooks.

The challenge of Oversimplification in Wikipedia is recognized in the guidance provided by its editors.

It is important not to oversimplify material in the effort to make it more understandable. Encyclopedia articles should not “tell lies to children” in the sense of giving readers an easy path to the feeling that they understand something when what they then understand is wrong.

Oversimplification can lead to a broader misunderstanding.


You oversimplify when you cover up relevant complexities or make a complicated problem appear to be too much simpler than it really is.


President Bush wants our country to trade with Fidel Castro’s Communist Cuba. I say there should be a trade embargo against Cuba. The issue in our election is Cuban trade, and if you are against it, then you should vote for me for president.

Whom to vote for should be decided by considering quite a number of issues in addition to Cuban trade. When an oversimplification results in falsely implying that a minor causal factor is the major one, then the reasoning also uses the False Cause Fallacy.

This entry is found in a broader entry on …


A fallacy is a kind of error in reasoning. The list of fallacies below contains 231 names of the most common fallacies, and it provides brief explanations and examples of each of them. Fallacious arguments should not be persuasive, but they too often are. Fallacies may be created unintentionally, or they may be created intentionally in order to deceive other people.

… at https://iep.utm.edu/fallacy .

Across system research, a fallacy would be to espouse that a feature in a physical machine would be equally applicable to biological entities and/or social groups. There are theories where the isomorphies are believed to be valid … so separating out presuppositions from the conventional scientific wisdom can be likened to searching for weeds in a thriving garden.

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