Archive for March, 2009

Logical Fallacy: Argumentum ad Hominem

March 24, 2009

Do you have a hard time communicating with people? People should learn more about ad hominem arguments. So, I spread the knowledge…

Argumentum ad hominem consists of replying to an argument by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument. It is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or personally attacking an argument’s proponent in an attempt to discredit that argument.

Ad hominem abusive usually and most notoriously involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensibly damning character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions. This tactic is frequently employed as a propaganda tool among politicians who are attempting to influence the voter base in their favor through an appeal to emotion rather than by logical means, especially when their own position is logically weaker than their opponent’s.

You can read more about logical fallacies. Maybe it will help you communicate better with people.