Argument to moderation (Latin: argumentum ad temperantiam)—also known as the false compromise, argument from middle ground, fallacy of gray, middle ground fallacy, or golden mean fallacy[1]—is the fallacy that the truth is always in the middle of two opposites.[2] It does not necessarily suggest that an argument for the middle solution or for a compromise is always fallacious, but rather applies primarily in cases where such a position is ill-informed, unfeasible, or impossible, or where an argument is incorrectly made that a position is correct simply because it is in the middle.[3][4]

An example of an argument to moderation would be considering two statements about the colour of the sky on Earth during the day – one claiming, correctly, that the sky is blue, and another claiming that it is yellow – and incorrectly concluding that the sky is the intermediate colour, green.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Fallacy: Middle Ground Archived 21 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine, The Nizkor Project (accessed 29 November 2012)
  2. ^ Harker, David (2015). Creating Scientific Controversies: Uncertainty and Bias in Science and Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-06961-9. LCCN 2015011610.
  3. ^ "Argument to Moderation". Logically Fallacious. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  4. ^ Rose, Hannah (17 May 2022). "False compromise fallacy: why the middle ground is not always the best". Ness Labs. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  5. ^ Gardner, Susan T. (2009). Thinking Your Way to Freedom: A Guide to Owning Your Own Practical Reasoning. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-59213-867-8. JSTOR j.ctt14btd4j. LCCN 2008023988.