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 that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one." It is often shortened to simply post hoc and is also sometimes referred to as false cause, coincidental correlation, or correlation not causation. 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.
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.
Famous quotes containing the word ergo:
“Not anyone can be a cuckold. If you are a cuckold, ergo your wife will be beautiful, ergo you will be well treated by her; ergo you will have plenty of friends; ergo you will be saved.”
—François Rabelais (14941553)