What is an ad hominem attack

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what is an ad hominem attack

Ad Hominem Quotes (14 quotes)

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The Ad Hominem Fallacy - Idea Channel - PBS Digital Studios

Definition and Examples of an Ad Hominem Fallacy

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases! Description: Attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself, when the attack on the person is completely irrelevant to the argument the person is making. Person 1 is claiming Y. Person 1 is a moron. Therefore, Y is not true.

An ad hominem argument or argumentum ad hominem in Latin is used to counter another argument. However, it's based on feelings of prejudice often irrelevant to the argument , rather than facts, reason and logic. An ad hominem argument is often a personal attack on someone's character or motive, rather than an attempt to address the actual issue at hand. This type of fallacy is often witnessed in debates in courtrooms and politics. Often, the attack is based on a person's social, political, or religious views. Either way, ad hominem attacks undermine the case and are to be avoided at all costs. You'll see why as we explore ad hominem examples below.

Ad hominem short for argumentum ad hominem, typically refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine.
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Did You Know?

Ad hominem literally means "to the person" in New Latin Latin as first used in post-medieval texts. In centuries past, this adjective usually modified "argument. The newer sense of "ad hominem," which suggests an attack on an opponent's character instead of his or her argument, appeared only in the last century, but it is the sense more often heard today.

In short, it's when your rebuttal to an opponent's position is an irrelevant attack on the opponent personally rather than the subject at hand, to discredit the position by discrediting its supporter. It translates as "against the man. Using an ad hominem fallacy pulls the public's attention off the real issue and serves only as a distraction. In some contexts it's unethical. It's also called argumentum ad hominem, abusive ad hominem, poisoning the well, ad personam , and mudslinging. The attacks serve as red herrings to try to discredit or blunt the opponent's argument or make the public ignore it—it's not just a personal attack but one stated as a counterattack to the position. This works to convince the opposition of a premise using information that the opposition already believes to be true, whether or not the person making the argument believes them as factual.

Ad hominem Latin for "to the person" , [1] short for argumentum ad hominem , typically refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is categorized among informal fallacies , [5] [6] [7] more precisely as a genetic fallacy , a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance. However, the term's original meaning was an argument "calculated to appeal to the person addressed more than to impartial reason". This meaning survives in philosophical usage, as explained by the philosopher R. Scott Bakker : "Classical Pyrrhonians argued ad hominem, not in the sense of the logical fallacy of that name, but in the sense that their dialectical strategy necessitates the exclusive utilization of the beliefs, convictions, and assumptions of their interlocutors. In other words, they construct their arguments on the basis of what other people hold to be true. Ad hominem tu quoque literally: "You also" refers to a claim that the source making the argument has spoken or acted in a way inconsistent with the argument.


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