fallacy of the ephemeral

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Denis Diderot (1713—1784) French philosopher, writer, and critic

Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657—1757)



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The mistake made by a transitory being who believes in the immutability of things. The fallacy is so named in D'Alembert's Dream by Diderot, who gives the lovely illustration from Fontenelle of the rose, who said that so far as any rose could remember, no gardener had ever died. A parallel problem afflicts creationists who cannot see, and therefore do not credit, the ceaseless processes of geological change.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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