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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clarifying Dem Ole Logical Fallacies #1: Argument Ad Hominem

"You are a butt head; therefore your argument is false."

- Argument Ad Hominem

"Your argument is false for reasons A, B, and C; butt-head."

- Not Argument Ad Hominem

1 comment:

dogimo said...

People have become confused on this one, crying "ad hominem" at anything they find personally insulting. They miss the crucial distinction: argument ad hominem occurs where the arguer is attacked instead of the argument.

In many cases, an accusation of argument ad hominem is itself argument ad hominem. The accuser has no counter for the substantial points raised, and so attempts to dodge them by calling the other party mean and/or a bad arguer.