16 Facts About Ad hominem


The most common form of ad hominem is "A makes a claim x, B asserts that A holds a property that is unwelcome, and hence B concludes that argument x is wrong".

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Fallacious ad hominem reasoning occurs where the validity of an argument is not based on deduction or syllogism, but on an attribute of the person putting it forward.

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Valid ad hominem arguments occur in informal logic, where the person making the argument relies on arguments from authority such as testimony, expertise, or a selective presentation of information supporting the position they are advocating.

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Since the validity of an argument is found within its content, which stands apart from any property of the one making the argument, these 'valid' ad hominem exceptions are of questionable validity regardless of rhetorical effect.

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Various types of ad hominem arguments have been known in the West since at least the ancient Greeks.

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Italian polymath Galileo Galilei and British philosopher John Locke examined the argument from commitment, a form of the ad hominem argument, meaning examining an argument on the basis of whether it stands true to the principles of the person carrying the argument.

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Nowadays, except within specialized philosophical usages, the usage of the term ad hominem signifies a straight attack at the character and ethos of a person, in an attempt to refute their argument.

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Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is categorized as an informal fallacy, more precisely as a genetic fallacy, a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance.

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Circumstantial ad hominem is an attack on the bias of a source.

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Ad hominem tu quoque is a response to a personal attack that itself is a personal attack.

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An ad hominem argument from commitment is a type of valid argument that employs, as a dialectical strategy, the exclusive utilization of the beliefs, convictions, and assumptions of those holding the position being argued against, i e, arguments constructed on the basis of what other people hold to be true.

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Ad hominem arguments are relevant where the person being criticised is advancing arguments from authority, or testimony based on personal experience, rather than proposing a formal syllogism.

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Ad hominem fallacies are considered to be uncivil and do not help create a constructive atmosphere for dialogue to flourish.

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An ad hominem attack is an attack on the character of the target, who tends to feel the necessity to defend himself or herself from the accusation of being hypocritical.

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Walton has argued that ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, and that in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc.

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Philosopher Charles Taylor has argued that ad hominem reasoning is essential to understanding certain moral issues due to the connection between individual persons and morality, and contrasts this sort of reasoning with the apodictic reasoning of philosophical naturalism.

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