Post Hoc Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Post Hoc, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Post Hoc?

It is the english conversion of the Latin phrase “post hoc ergo propter hoc” which simply means “after this, therefore because of this”. It refers a illogical or false assumption of consequent occurence of the event due to or caused by happening of another event which took place prior to the second event .

History and Meaning of Post Hoc

Post hoc is a Latin phrase which has been used for a long time in the field of logic, it means "after this, therefore because of this”. The fallacy occurs when a person concludes that one event is the cause of another because the first one occurred before. It is a misinterpretation of two events happening in conjunction, instead of one causing the other. It is commonly used as a warning against assuming a causal relationship between two events without proper study and investigation.

Examples of Post Hoc

  1. After I got vaccinated, I got sick the next day. Therefore, the vaccine made me sick.
  2. The company implemented a new software system and profits increased the following quarter. Therefore, the new software system caused the increase in profits.
  3. I fell on the sidewalk after I saw a black cat. Therefore, the sight of the cat caused me to fall.

Legal Terms Similar to Post Hoc

  1. Correlation: It is a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together. It can be positive or negative, and it does not necessarily imply causation.
  2. Cum Hoc: It is the opposite of Post Hoc. It is also known as “with this, therefore because of this.” It occurs when the coincidence of two events is taken as evidence that one causes the other.
  3. Causation: It is the relationship between cause and effect in which one event causes another to occur. It means that if the first event had not happened, the second event would not have either.