Ad hominem

Ad hominem
cardoso
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:00 PM:
Subject: Ad hominem
Imagine that a guy is ad hominem you and then you tell him "you are so into ad hominem". Are you also ad hominem him?
To Mega Therion
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:04 PM:

No, because you commented on the quality of his argumentation, not his character. A bit of grammatical Nazism: ad hominem is a phrase made out of a preposition and a noun, not a verb. One commits the fallacy of arguing ad hominem, one doesn't ad hominem.
cardoso
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:10 PM:

To Mega Therion wrote:
No, because you commented on the quality of his argumentation, not his character. A bit of grammatical Nazism: ad hominem is a phrase made out of a preposition and a noun, not a verb. One commits the fallacy of arguing ad hominem, one doesn't ad hominem.


But even if you criticize someone for being into ad hominem? Because one thing is to say "that argument is ad hominem". Other is to say "you are the most ad hominem guy I know"
Stabby
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:12 PM:

Not necessarily. You are simply pointing out that his attack on you doesn't constitute a good argument against whatever you are arguing for or for whatever he is arguing for. For you to commit an ad hominem you would have to insinuate that his position is less tenable because of something about him that was unrelated to the argument, and that can actually happen in response to an ad hominem but it isn't necessarily so.

Him: "Oh yeah well your head looks like a banana"

You "That has nothing to do with my argument, that is an ad hominem and is an invalid argument against my position" -isn't an ad hominem

You "That has nothing to do with my argument, that is an ad hominem and you are clearly a dishonest debater and therefore my position is right and yours is wrong" - is an ad hominem
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:15 PM:

cardoso wrote:
But even if you criticize someone for being into ad hominem? Because one thing is to say "that argument is ad hominem". Other is to say "you are the most ad hominem guy I know"


Like I said, it would be a (rather tacky) comment on his style of argumentation. A proper ad hominem would mention a part of his character that has nothing to do with the issue being discussed (bringing out your opponent's racism in a discussion of shoes, for example) and use it as an argument.
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:26 PM:

Only idiots argue against ad hominem.
cardoso
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 12:37 PM:

bjolly wrote:
Only idiots argue against ad hominem.


That's ad hominem.
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 8:28 PM:

I think the "you are so into" turns it into an ad hominem since it attacks the characteristic trait of using ad hominem arguments to dismiss what could be valid arguments that only sound like "ad hominem". Also, calling someone an idiot isn't necessarily an ad homenim as name-calling isn't an attempt at attacking the argument.
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 9:02 PM:

Don't listen to arguments against ad hominem -they're made by idiots.
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Posted Sep 4, 2010 - 10:01 PM:

Cardoso wrote:
Imagine that a guy is ad hominem you and then you tell him "you are so into ad hominem". Are you also ad hominem him?


An assessment of character is not necessarily an ad hominem, unless one is attempting to discredit an argument based on that assessment of character. For example: "Professor Pearson’s arguments in favor of the theory of evolution should be discounted. Pearson is a cocaine-snorting sex pervert and, according to some reports, a member of the Communist party.” If Professor Pearson were to respond, “You are so ad hominem, dude,” he wouldn’t be committing an ad hominem, because he’s simply making a casual observation as an aside. Ad hominems take the form of arguments – they consist in a group of statements, one or more of which (the premises) are claimed to provide support for, or reasons to believe, one of the others (the conclusion), e.g., 'You are such and such. Therefore your argument fails.' If you were to simply say, ”You are such and such,” you wouldn’t be committing an ad hominem attack, because your casual observation (and that’s all it really is) doesn’t follow the form of an argument – which all ad hominems characteristically take.

Edited by Wolfman on Sep 4, 2010 - 10:09 PM
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