post hoc

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Short for “post hoc, ergo propter hoc,” a Latin phrase meaning “after this, therefore because of this.” The phrase expresses the logical fallacy of assuming that one thing caused another merely because the first thing preceded the other. In other words, it is the fallacy of inferring a causal relationship from a temporal one. For example, “the dog barked immediately before the power went out; therefore, the dog’s bark caused the power to go out.”

[Last updated in August of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]