Recognizing ad hominems

Ptgymatic's picture
Submitted by Ptgymatic on Tue, 2008-09-02 18:39

Ad hominems are an invalid form of reasoning. They attempt to criticize a conclusion by finding fault with the person who holds that conclusion.

My trusty Oxford Companion to Philosophy says:  "ad hominem argument. For Aristotle, a fallacy in which 'persons direct their solutions against the man, not against his arguments.' "Objectivism, of course, points to ad hominems as common, illegitimate tactics in widespread use in modern dialogues. I even think I've seen one or two used here.

So, I propose that we cut and paste any ad hominem arguments we spot in SOLO posts here, and then we can analyze them as to their validity without hi-jacking the thread in which they appear. That should be useful to everyone except those who are adept at recognizing, and themselves avoiding ad hominems. And they will like it because it will reduce the frequency of ad hominems! Fewer ad hominems means clearer discussions, which benefits all.

--Mindy

 


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A personal all-time favourite

Richard Goode's picture

Dr. Goode

Saying "I disagree," over and over, and providing nothing by way of substance, is pure evasion. You appear to be a stranger to any standards of intelligent discourse or engagement, reason or critical analysis. From what can be detected from your posts, you seem lack any capacity to think at all, only to make meaningless and useless noise. You have no more epistemological right to your opinions than does a reader of horoscopes and star charts, or some grunting primitive seeking to appease the gods by slaughtering animals.

A second-rate philosophy professor

Richard Goode's picture

Don't get it second-hand from a second-rate philosophy professor

I suggest you read Harriman's book for yourself, rather than get it second-hand from a second-rate philosophy professor who isn't apparently even able to read past page three.

That this fraudulent fool thinks Immanuel Kant is a great philosopher tells you all you need to know about Mr Seddon.

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