Some months ago on this site I came across a Latin term that described the idea of putting forth an argument for one side of an issue, but while doing so attempting to maintain grasp or control over a point in your favor from the side you are arguing against.

The essence was that your argument for or against a broader point indirectly discredits a very specific thing you are trying to achieve. An example might be arguing that college admission policies should be colorblind and not discriminate on the basis of race, while desiring to maintain quotas for each race as a way to achieve some balance and force diversity. If you win on the first point you may lose the second. (especially if implementation requires removing identifying information from the application form)

The term seemed like an apt descriptor for some of the logical fallacies and hypocrisy I observe in discussion around social issues and I would like to research this further, but can't come up with a key word to search by...

What is the term for this practice or concept?

  • I may be missing something, but I don't understand the question at all. The first description seems at odds with the second.
    – bdb484
    Jan 5, 2023 at 14:04
  • @bdb484, I edited the second paragraph, let me know if it helps. Jan 5, 2023 at 15:44
  • I'm not sure this is what you're looking for: The fallacy of incomplete evidence. If it, I'll post it as an answer.
    – user35069
    Jan 5, 2023 at 16:33
  • 1
    @Rick, good info, but I'm looking for a specific Latin legal term that at the time I was able to find in Wikipedia. Jan 5, 2023 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


In hindsight my question is not worded as well as perhaps it should have been to get the response I was looking for, but as it happens sometimes my interpretation drifted a bit over time.

Which is precisely why I was asking for the term - so I could refresh myself on it's proper meaning.

Through a review of previous questions and answers on this site, I've remembered that the specific word I was looking for is "estoppel".

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