Abstract: The argument
whereby attention is drawn to a person's character or circumstances
rather than evaluating that person's claims is characterized with
examples and shown to be sometimes persuasive but normally fallacious.
Related appeals in reasoning examined here include the ad personam,
tu quoque, ex concessis, poisoning the well, guilt by
association, ad feminam, and genetic fallacies, among others.
Nonfallacious uses of argumentum ad hominem are also examined.
- ad Hominem Fallacy: (abusive and circumstantial):
the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an
individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead
of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness
of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a
Informal Structure of ad Hominem Fallacy
Person L proffers claim C.
Person L's circumstance or character
is unsatisfactory, or L does not act
in accordance with C.
is implausible or unlikely.
- The ad hominem abusive is the fallacy
that that an agent's belief has not been proved (or is
mistaken) because that person is somehow deficient as
evidenced by some undesirable aspects of that person's
characteristics, personality, motives, morality, or
Consider this example:
“After a 35-year career in agriculture, which took me
to all corners of the world in segments ranging from animal
productivity to plant protection, genetics, and biotechnology,
I … reviewed Prince Charles' speech. I found
foolishness and arrogant
- The ad hominem circumstantial is
the fallacy that someone's belief is mistaken
because that person's position is motivated by actions
or personal circumstances which most likely bias that
person's judgment. This is a fairly typical example:
“[Alger] Hiss still has a ragtag remnant of
defenders, historical illiterates who are
disproportionately academics. They often are the
last to learn things because they have gone to
earth in the groves of academe in order to live
in an alternative
- Since the circumstantial variety of the
ad hominem fallacy can often be
regarded as a special case of the abusive
in that it is an indirect personal attack,
the distinction between the ad hominem
abusive and the ad hominem circumstantial
is in some contexts ignored as an inconsequential
- Argumentum ad Hominem : reasoning by
appealing to the character or circumstances of
an individual who is advancing a claim in order to
determine the plausibility of that claim. The argumentum
ad hominem is not always fallacious, an individual's
personal character and circumstances are sometimes logically
related to the issues under
- The informal fallacy of argumentum ad hominem occurs
when an examination of issues is discontinued in pursuance of
an irrelevant personal attack — e.g., impeaching
the testimony of a reliable eye witness to a felony.
- When an examination of issues is logically benefited by
reference to the character or circumstances of an individual,
no informal fallacy occurs — e.g., impeaching
the testimony of a visually impaired eye witness to a felony.
- Note that for the argumentum ad hominem fallacy
to occur, (1) an irrevelant appeal is made and (2) a
(logical) argument must be
- The commonsensical assumptions upon which the argumentum ad
hominem is based generally include the belief that flawed persons are
not credible and logical as well as the belief that decent persons are
trustworthy and reasonable.
- The fallacy version draws its appeal from the
technique of “getting personal.” But the fallacy does
not occur when the evidence adduced for the accused character of
circumstances is logically independent of the argument being
adduced by the accused. If the grounds for the claim are logically
independent of the antagonist's argument, then the claim, not being
relevant, is to be assessed in accordance with other (relevant)
- Logicians today distinguish several prevailing indistinct varieties
of fallacies related to the argumentum ad hominem fallacy:
- In the ad personam fallacy the statement
or argument at issue is dropped from consideration or
is completely ignored, and the adversary's character or
circumstances is subjected to personal
Recently in several logic textbooks, the ad personam is
taken to be a name replacement for the traditional ad
hominem because the meaning of ad hominem, which is
“‘to’ or ‘toward’ a human
being (or the person),“
might be misinterpreted, if the phrase is
translated from the Latin as meaning “to or toward
the man.” This latter translation may well be
part of the reason some recent writers have added the separate
fallacy of ad feminam to their list of informal
a fallacy defined as an attack on a woman's character or
circumstances in order to cast doubt on her claims.
- Consider this example of an
ad personam (which can also be classified
as either an ad hominem abusive fallacy or a name
“Secretary of State John Kerry says that
there is less violence than usual in the
world right now. Meanwhile the Director
of National Intelligence, James Clapper,
says the opposite, that terrorism is more
violent and dangerous than ever. Since
Clapper is Director of National
Intelligence, maybe Kerry should have
the title Director of National
- A well known ad personam example of the
ad hominem (circumstantial) variety
is Voltaire's criticism of Rousseau's
Emile, or Treatise on Education
by reason of the author's dereliction of
his own children:
“Excessive pride and envy have destroyed
Jean-Jacques, my illustrious philosopher. That
monster dares speak of education! He abandoned
his children and the tramp with whom he made
- The tu quoque fallacy, where the
locutor responds to an ad hominem attack with
the same accusation against the person to whom
the locutor is confronting, is a narrower form of the
ad hominem circumstantial fallacy. In other words,
rather than trying to disprove an accuser's proposed argument
against one's own position, one responds by asserting
that the same kind of argument applies to the accuser.
The inconsistency of a claimant is shown by accusing the
claimant of the same sort of allegation for which a locutor
has been denounced.
Whenever the response in kind to a locutor's claim or
argument does not involve a personal attack either of
character or circumstances, the tu quoque fallacy
would not be considered a type of ad hominem
- In cross examination or in debate, the tu
quoque fallacy is sometimes depicted as
“My argument might be bad, but yours is
worse.” Thus, the conversational
implication is my argument is good by way of
comparison. Note that this fallacy is usually only
rhetorically effective in the presence of a third
- If the basis of dispute is the criticism of a
someone's argument, the fallacy can be summarized
as “O.K., I understand your criticism of
my contention, but the same criticism you point
out applies to your thinking as well.” As
Aristotle wrote, “[F]or it is the absurdity
of impudence to arraign others for the very same
things of which we ourselves have been
and again, “The second way is, when a
defender discredits his accuser, by retorting his own
- E.g., consider this anecdote told by an early
feminist social reformer:
“In the discussion after a Forum lecture
in Boston, an address on some aspect of the
Woman question, a man in the gallery, who
evidently took exception to a dull rose fillet I
wore in my hair, demanded to know how women
could expect to equal men ‘so long as they
took so much time fixing up their hair and
putting ribbons in it’? There was some
commotion, and cries of ‘Put him
out!’ but I grinned up at him cheerfully
and replied, ‘I do not think it has been
yet established whether it takes a woman longer
to do her hair than it does a man to
shave.’ This was not an answer at all, but
it seemed to please every one but the
Notice how the lecturer recognizes the
irrelevancy of her response to the man in the
gallery's impertinent remark.
- The argument from commitment or
ex concessis argument is a
purported proof relative to a specific person.
The fallacy occurs whenever an opponent is charged
with taking a position or acting in such a manner
which conflicts with, or is inconsistent with,
some previous position to which the opponent has
accepted. The basis of the fallacy is the
comparison of two conflicting positions of the
locutor with whom someone is deliberating.
The mistaken reasoning is that since
the two positions differ, the later position
must be mistaken.
- So, this form of the fallacy is committed
when someone is accused of being hypocritical and
is personally accused of not believing in, or
not acting in accordance with, commitments he has
taken on another occasion. Nevertheless, even
hypocrites are capable of espousing a good
- E.g., in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus
attempts to justify to a group of Pharisees a task of
healing on the Sabbath as follows:
“2 And, behold there was a
certain man before him which had the dropsy.
3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees,
saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
4 And they held their peace. And he took him,
and healed him, and let him go;
5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have
an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightaway
pull him out on the sabbath day?
6 And they could not answer him again to these
- Obviously, a simple inconsistency in thought
or action is not a fallacy unless the
inconsistency is part of the same argument
under consideration. The ex concessis
variety of the ad hominem fallacy occurs when
the previous commitment or position is not
specifically germane to the specific subject
- The ex concessis form of the
fallacy is committed when an interlocutor states
that his opponent's argument must be mistaken
because his opponent has previously given an
argument which is inconsistent with the present
argument. But the fact that the opponent
might, at one time, have believed something
different from what the present argument provides,
does not necessarily imply the present argument
or claim is mistaken.
- Schopenhauer clarifies another variant of
this form of fallacious reasoning: “Should
your opponent be in the right, but luckily
for your contention, choose a faulty
proof, you can easily manage to refute
it, and then claim you have refuted his
whole position. This trick … is,
at bottom, an expedient by which an
argumentum ad hominem is put forward
- Here's a typical example of the Ad hominem ex
“[An] octogenarian professor from the
University of Texas named Lino Graglia …
dutifully informed the committee that ‘a
law ending birthright citizenship should and
likely would survive constitutional
challenge.’ But consider the source:
a man who by his own account takes ‘a
very limited view of the power of the Supreme
Court‘ and breezily dismisses contrary
- Other fallacies associated with or overlapping the main types of
ad hominem outlined above include the personal attack,
name calling, and poisoning the well, guilt by
association, and the genetic fallacy.
- The personal attack fallacy is normally regarded
as a harsh ad hominem abusive fallacy. Note the
disproportionate criticism in the following
“We hold that the deceitful and vacuous writings
presented by Lyotard, and by many of his fellow
postmodernists, are texts that purposely lead their
readers to stray into errancy. … Often, they
reject all and any truth, and merely spread ignorance
and mendacity. Hence, these deceitful vacuous
writing belong in the dustbin of
- The fallacy of name
calling, also a variant of the ad hominem
abusive fallacy, occurs on those occasions where loaded
or negatively-slanted epithets or appellations characterizing
a locutor are used to cast doubt on the worth of the
locutor's beliefs. Often such insults are used to devalue
another's arguments or beliefs.
- For the name-calling fallacy to occur, the locutor
must have used irrelevant name calling as a reason for
doubting the locutor's argument or conclusion. Thus, any
evidence of the name's propriety is not evidence against
the argument or conclusion itself.
- The following point of view is a typical
example of name calling:
“I don't get to write the following words very often,
but Justice Antonin Scalia was right. Not about gay marriage,
of course. Scalia is so antediluvian he has trouble forcing
himself to call it by its proper
The ad hominem fallacy occurs here since the writer
asserts that the reason Supreme Court Justice Scalia does not
use the proper term for same sex marriage is that the Justice
- Note that simply using abusive names to belittle
a person is not fallacious in itself. Occasionally name
calling is done in order to divert attention away from
the argument under discussion. The following
passage seems fallacious, but it is an instance of
nonargumentative name calling. Lexically, the example can
be properly termed an ad hominem, but, logically, not
an ad hominem fallacy.
“Politicians and lawyers pretend they are important
people doing important work, but often they're important
because they are parasites. They feed off others, wile
creating no wealth of their own.
- The fallacy of poisoning the well is, in a
sense, a kind of preemptive ad hominem argument. In
poisoning the well, a disputant claims that an adversary's
arguments cannot be trusted to be credible because of an
adversary's prior fixed opinion or previous commitment. Such a
person is said to be untrustworthy in present assertions because,
it is claimed, that person has always been prejudiced and narrow-minded.
In nearly all poisoning-the-well examples a person's motives are
used to attempt to discredit the claims of that person and so
are instances of the ad hominem circumstantial
- Since we normally assess the truth of a claim by a body of
existing beliefs, if the existing belief-set is suspect, then
our ability to assess the claim is seriously undermined. So
in the fallacy of poisoning the well, odious information about
an adversary is preemptively adduced in order to discredit
any possible response made by the opponent.
The fallacy is illustrated in the following example
where a conservative British politician's assesment of the
European Union referendum and Brexit are thwarted by this
“The poisonous rancour of Norman Tebbit is nothing new,
but even their lordships gasped at his complaint about
‘looking after foreigners and not the
- E.g., consider the following example of accusing an
opponent of the kind of fixed bias implicit in poisoning the well:
“Michael closed his eyes as if to shut out the world
around him. ‘You'll never understand what it means to swear
allegiance to the flag and to your country. You'll never
understand what it means to be a soldier.‘
[Samantha] ‘You're right, Michael, I don't understand, and I will
never understand why men have to kill each other. It is beyond
my comprehension why you had to fight in this useless war. A
war that is so wrong and should have never
Michael's argument here is that since Samantha cannot understand
what it means to be a soldier, she cannot understand the values
of a soldier.
- In gender studies, for example, it is sometimes assumed
that women and men will never understand each other's point of
view because of their inherent differences. From the outset,
this assumption forestalls the possibility of a common neutral
understanding and sets up an irremediable barrier to meaningful
interactive discourse. When examined, such a presupposition
would imply that no one could ever understand anything inherently
different from one's self. Ultimately, examples such as this
one are fraught with difficulties similar to
problem of other minds.
- The fallacy of guilt by association, a fallacy
resembling in some ways poisoning the well, often makes use of
ad hominem considerations. In the fallacy of guilt by
association, the contentions or arguments of a locutor are judged
on the basis of the locutor's discredited or suspicious affiliations.
Thus, the adversary's position is attacked on the grounds that the
adversary belongs to some kind of questionable or suspect
social group. The allegation is as follows: because an agent is somehow
affiliated with a discredited enterprise, the agent's claims
are not credible. Here's an example:
“In several letters to high-ranking government officials,
[Rep. Michele] Bachmann has raised questions about Huma Abedin, a
Muslim-American, who is deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton. Bachmann's concern is Abedin's relatives in the
Middle East some of whom — such as Abedin's mother — she
claims ‘are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives
and/or organizations.’ Abedin's job, according to Bachmann,
‘affords her routine access to the secretary and to policy
making.’ And, as a result of that access, says Bachmann,
‘the State Department, and in several cases, the specific
direction of the secretary of state, have taken actions recently
that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and
- The genetic fallacy can occasionally converge with the
ad hominem circumstantial fallacy. The genetic fallacy is
the irrelevant attempt to refute or base a claim or argument on the
basis of its origin or history. The mistake in reasoning occurs
because of the confusion of temporal order with logical
the source as to how evidence is obtained is often irrelevant to
its logical significance.
If the origin of an argumentative claim arises from an agent of
some kind, the cogency of that claim is not justified when the
source is not logically related to the claim. A claim should be
justified on the basis of its own merit. Here's a brief allusion to a
fallacy which can be properly reconstructed as an ad hominem
circumstantial fallacy or a genetic fallacy:
“Would one regard a theorem in mathematics less praiseworthy
because its discoverer was uneducated, or otherwise disreputably
- Several considerations for evaluating ad hominem passages
- When examining scientific, literary or philosophical
works, looking at the author's character or circumstance
can sometimes provide insight into that person's standpoint.
In other words, ad hominem considerations can
show motives and can sometimes provide a frame of reference
for deeper comprehension. However, these perspectives do
not ordinarily demonstrate the truth or falsity of the
ideas. Consider the following passage:
“John Stacy … made the connection between the
radical power of Byron's poetics and his Satanic as well as
melancholic genius. Accusing Byron of a ‘misanthropy
run mad,’ of trying ‘to make the world believe
he is miserable, and to persuade it to be as miserable as
himself’, the author writes ‘I grant him genius
…, an eloquence of
The suggestion that the brilliance of Lord Byron's poetry
might be due to his manic-depressive illness is a literary
insight into the possible literary effect of specific
characteristics of Byron's personality. No fallacy occurs because
no argument is present.
- The character of a person is often relevant for an
evaluation of the sincerity of views being offered
and so can be relevant for pragmatic decision-making.
E.g., D. M. Varisco explains the necessity of
having awareness of Edward Said's circumstances
in order to make sense of Said's 1978 polemical book
Orientalism objecting to the presumption of
Western superiority in patronizingly describing the Eastern
“From the start the reactions to Orientalism
ranging from the ad hoc to the ad hominem, read into
Said the critic as well and as poorly as into what
the critic was saying. Said's origins and political
activism as an Arab-American intellectual can hardly
be left out of
- A fallacy might occur in passages such as these if the work were
to be considered misguided and discredited solely because of the
degenerate character and circumstances of the author. The essential
question in judging whether or not an ad hominem argument is a
fallacy is whether or not the author's character and circumstances
are logically relevant to the assertions or the arguments in
the work itself.
- Non-fallacious uses of the ad hominem can occur in
diverse descriptive and rhetorical contexts. When evidence about
a person's character or circumstances is adduced to disclose the
motive for that person's assertion, rather than to dispute the
assertion itself, such instances often involve the presence of a
causal explanation rather than the
presence of an argument.
- In arguments where the character or circumstances
are relevant to the substance of the argument,
no fallacy occurs. E.g., the following passage
is not fallacious:
“If [Thomas] Jefferson's relationship with [Sally]
Hemings began in the late 1780's, it would mean that he
began to back away from a leadership position in the
anti-slavery movement just around the time that his
affair with Sally Hemings started. Jefferson's stated
reservations about ending slavery included a fear that
emancipation would lead to racial mixing and
amalgamation. His own interracial affair now
personalizes this issue, while adding a dimension of
- Moreover, if a speaker merely responds to an accusation
pertaining to his character or circumstances by retorting
that the accuser also has the same or similar character
or circumstances, no fallacy necessarily occurs if
there is no (logical) argument present. In other words, if
a disputant's rejoinder of the same non-argumentative
accusation exhibits the rhetoric of tu quoque,
it is not necessarily an instance of the tu quoque
fallacy unless the claim is implicit that the rejoinder
is intended to disqualify some sort of argumentative
criticism from the accuser.
Consider this example of a non-fallacious tu quoque
and simple name-calling from a play:
“BLONDEL (indignantly).—You are not one
of my century, or you would not be so discourteous.
Sir, you are an anachronism.
TELL.—Sir, you are
- The truth or falsity of a what is said does not depend
on the character of the person saying it, unless what
is said is directly applicable to the person saying it. E.g.,
William James famously distinguishes two philosophical
“The history of philosophy is a clash of human
temperaments. … Of whatever temperament a
professional philosopher is, he tries, when philosophizing,
to sink the fact of his temperament. … Yet his
temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any
of his more strictly objective premises. …I
think you will practically recognize the two types of
mental make-up that I mean … by the titles
‘tender-minded’ and ‘tough-minded’
If James were to claim that all philosophers were either
tender-minded or tough-minded, but as a philosopher, he is not,
then the argumentum ad hominem against him would not
be deemed fallacious.
- In brief, if the characteristics of a person constitute a
disconfirming instance of what that person claims, then an
argumentum ad hominem is not a fallacious. If the
persons making a claim individually embodies a counterexample
which disproves that person's own claim, then it is not a
fallacy to point out this fact to that person.
- A number of logicians have argued that the argumentum ad
hominem is not a fallacy. They argue the ad hominem has
been thought fallacious because its instances do not meet the
conventional logical standards of deductive validity or
inductive correctness or probability. On this view, since, in most
everyday contexts of reasoning, validity or inductive plausibility is
inapplicable, ad hominem considerations do render some
evidence, however weak, and so should not be presupposed as
standpoint serves to emphasize the constitutive contextual nature
of informal fallacy identifications.
- When the character or circumstances of an individual are
relevant to what that persons advances as a claim, the fallacy
of ad hominem does not occur. Douglas N. Walton has proposed
re-naming the ad hominem abusive as the ad hominem
direct to reflect the fact that the argumentum ad hominem
describes both fallacious and non-fallacious
- The following examples of the argumentum ad hominem
are fairly straight-forward and require only brief explanation.
Note whether or not in each case the character and/or circumstances
of the individual being depicted are germane to the claims made.
ad Hominem Examples
- “Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State,
responding to a question about former Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld's criticism of her in his memoir:
‘Don can be a grumpy guy. We all know
Comment: Rather than addressing Mr. Rumsfeld's criticism,
Ms. Rice imputes ill-temper to him.
- “[W]hen consultant/pundit/Democrat Hilary Rosen
commented on CNN that Ann Romney had never held a job (and
therefore was ill-suited to advise her husband on women's
employment concerns), … the Catholic League …
tweeted: ‘Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney
she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had
to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her
Comment: The allusion to whether reared children were adopted or
not is not directly relevant in the context provided to deliberation
about women's employment concerns.
- “In America, the go-to guy on ADHD
is Dr. Russell Barkley … Barkley is on
record saying that although behavior therapy
(behavior modification) can be a useful supplementary
treatment, no approach to ADHD has ever or is
probably ever going to completely replace pharmaceutical
therapy. In this regard it is significant to note
that Barthe developer of the popular ADHD drug
Comment: Normally the evidence for the truth or falsity of
the claim would be, strictly speaking, independent of Dr. Barkley's
past connections. However, Dr. Barkley's expertise cannot be entirely
disregarded since his testimony and experience is relevant to the
issue being discussed.
- ”President Trump is apparently convinced that his
son-in-law, who serves officially as a senior adviser, can fix
anything. Make that everything. … Kushner is
supposed to bring the mindset and practices of the business world
to the public sector. Given that his father went to jail for crimes
including tax evasion, and that his boss declared four businesses
bankruptcies, we can only hope Kushner looks far afield for role
Comment: The implicit argument is that Jared Kushner is
unlikely to be successful in his duties by reason that his father
is a felon and Donald Trump declared bankruptcies. Hence, the
ad hominem circumstantial fallacy is committed.
- “Once he [Benjamin F. Butler] was cross-questioning a
witness in his characteristic manner (with him politeness, or even
humanity, was out of the question). The judge interrupted to remind
him that the witness was a Harvard professor. ‘I know it, your
Honor,’ replied Butler; ‘we hanged one of them the
Comment: Mr. Butler argues that his rude cross examination
of a Harvard professor is unexceptional since a Harvard professor was
hanged recently — implying the witness' character is determinable
by association with other Harvard professors.
- ”[The New York Times] chronicled the enormous benefits
French citizens receive. Paid child care, free higher education,
free health care, a mandatory five weeeks of paid vacation, monthly
government payments for each child … There comes a point
when ideology has to be put aside and what's good for the country
must be embraced. France is a selfish nation that is going down the
drain economically because the folks there want stuff and economics be
Comment: Although Mr. O'Reilly gives cogent reasons that government
regulation and high taxes are part of an unsustainable economy, assessing
reasons for this conclusion by attacking the character of the French people
as wanting stuff, not caring about economics, and being selfish, is
- “Marvin Greenberg … spent many painful years in the
garment business. As he sees it, consumers willing to pay more for
better — and American — made clothes will remain a definite
minority. The vast shopping public demands basement-scraping prices on
two-for-one deals. Patriotism ends at the cash register. He's seen
it happen. ‘Back in the '50's there was a union protest in Fall
River (Mass.) about saving jobs, stopping imports,’ Greenberg
recalls. ‘People carrying signs were wearing imported
Comment: Assuming an implicit argument, the conversational
implication is that American will not pay more for American apparel
manufacturing to help American workers because even garment workers
themselves do not do so. Also the reasoning is based on one group of
workers to a conclusion about all Americans and converse accident is
suggested. Nevertheless, the implicit argument qualifies as a weak
inductive argument rather than a clear fallacy.
- “The recent hype about global warming comes from the
Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change. Most of its members are
serious scientists. But reporters don't realize that those scientists,
like bird flu specialists, have every incentive to hype the risk. If
their computer models (which so far have been wrong) predict disaster,
they get attention and money. If they say, “I'm not sure,”
they get nothing.”
Comment: Ad hominem fallacy occurs since Mr.Stossel
ignores the empirical issues relating to global warming to claim that
conclusions of the scientists on the Intergovermental Panel are not so
much empirically based as they are based upon securing recognition and
- “Actress Salma Hayek has just been honoured at Equality
Now's ‘Make Equality Reality’ event, for
co-founding ‘Chime for Change’, which fights for women's
rights around the world. At the ceremony, which also honoured Gloria
Steinem, Hayek said: ’I am not a feminist. If men were going
through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting
for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality.‘
This is about the astonishing persistence of what I'd term small-f
feminist-woman. … The kind of woman, such as Hayek, who accepts
an award for helping women at an event also honouring Gloria Steinem
(Gloria Steinem!) and then has the graceless gall to use it as an
opportunity to announce that she isn't a feminist … You have to
wonder — what's with these women and their seemingly all-consuming
need to distance themselves from feminism? An unworthy thought crawls
through my brain: is this a man-pleasing exercise … Or does it go
yet deeper, darker, than that, into the realms of female self-hatred? …
While some may view this as an overreaction to some red carpet waffling,
to me, this is about small-f feminist-woman and how her unique brand of
self-hatred is taking far too long to die out.”
Comment: In addition to the verbal disagreement concerning the
meaning of feminism, Ms. Hayek is accused of either “man pleasing”
behavior or “female self-hatred” for her statement that she
is not a feminist.
- “Norman Vincent Peale, a broadcast preacher and author of
The Power of Positive Thinking … said [Adlai] Stevenson
was unfit to be president because he was divorced. Stevenson said:
“I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale
Comment: Mr. Peale and Mr. Stevenson both commit the fallacy of
ad hominem. Mr. Peale's personal attack turns on a
non causa pro causa that being divorced
is a cause a being unfit for the presidency, and Mr. Stevenson's
name-calling is his response to the adequacy of Mr. Peale's argument.
Some judge of authors' names, not work, and then
Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men.
Alexander Pope, The Works of Alexander Pope,
vol. II, An Essay on Criticism (London: Longman
Brown, and Co. 1847), 357.
Recommended Readings: Ad Hominem
“Ad hominem,” Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#cite_ref-8 (accessed 7 March 2017).
Barth, E. M. and J.L. Martens, “Argumentum Ad Hominem:
From Chaos to Formal Dialectic.” Logique & Analyse
20 no. 77-78 (1977): 76-96.
(accessed 7 Mar. 2017).
Battaly, Heather. “Attacking Character: Ad Hominem
Argument and Virtue Epistemology,” Informal Logic
30 no.4 (2010): 361-390. http://windsor.scholarsportal.info/ojs/leddy/index.php/informal_logic/article/view/2964 (accessed 2 March 2017).
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