Douglas Walton's Ad Hominem Arguments PDF

By Douglas Walton

ISBN-10: 0817355618

ISBN-13: 9780817355616

Essential to an realizing of argumentation and good judgment, Ad Hominem Arguments is an important contribution to criminal idea and media and civic discourse.

within the 1860s, northern newspapers attacked Abraham Lincoln's guidelines by means of attacking his personality, utilizing the phrases "drunk," "baboon," "too slow," "foolish," and "dishonest." gradually at the raise in political argumentation on account that then, the argumentum advert hominem, or own assault argument, has now been conscientiously sophisticated as an tool of "oppo strategies" and "going adverse" by means of the general public kinfolk specialists who craft political campaigns on the nationwide point. during this definitive remedy of 1 of crucial strategies in argumentation concept and casual common sense, Douglas Walton provides a normative framework for picking and comparing advert hominem or own assault arguments.

own assault arguments have frequently proved to be so powerful, in election campaigns, for instance, that even whereas condemning them, politicians haven't stopped utilizing them. within the media, within the court, and in daily war of words, advert hominem arguments are effortless to place ahead as accusations, are tricky to refute, and sometimes have a very strong influence on persuading an audience.

Walton supplies a transparent procedure for studying and comparing instances of advert hominem arguments present in daily argumentation. His research classifies the advert hominem argument into 5 essentially outlined subtypes—abusive (direct), circumstantial, bias, "poisoning the well," and tu quoque ("you're simply as bad") arguments—and offers equipment for comparing each one variety. every one subtype is given a well-defined shape as a recognizable form of argument. the varied case reports convey in concrete phrases many useful points of the way to take advantage of textual facts to spot and examine fallacies and to judge argumentation as improper or now not particularly cases.


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Additional info for Ad Hominem Arguments

Example text

Ruby ( 1 950, p . 1 3 1 ) describes the argumentum ad hominem as a fallacy on the grounds that an attack that directs its force against the speaker is insufficient to prove that a proposition is false because such a proof requires evidence that the proposition is false. Thus, gen­ erally, Ruby sees the argumentum ad hominem as fallacious because it is a failure to provide adequate evidence required to prove a propo­ sition. Citing a case of mathematical reasoning similar to the kind of cases cited by Cohen and Nagel, Ruby writes, "Euclid's geometry stands or falls on its own merits, whether or not Euclid was a kind husband and father" (p.

He concedes therefore that in such a case it could be a relevant argument even though he describes it as being one that has a "merely negative character" (p. 1 85 ). Here we have an account that generally presumes the argumentum ad hominem to be fallacious but by way of exception concedes the presence of some cases in which it could have some force as a negative type of argu. ment that would make it relevant and nonfallacious. Mellone ( 1 9 13, p. 353) gives a brief account of the argumentum ad hominem that is similar to that of Jevons.

Brinton ( 1 985) and Wisse ( 1 989) show how this rhetorical concep­ tion of ethos had an important influence in ancient rhetorical hand­ books. Brinton (p. 57) goes on to identify ethotic argument with the concept of argumentum ad hominem as found in modern logic textbooks. Nevertheless, Brinton claims that if we view argumen­ tum ad hominem in this way, it is not necessarily a fallacious argu­ ment. That is, in some cases, the speaker's ethotic argument could be backed up by his being a person of genuinely good character and if this character is correctly perceived by the audience, then this per­ ception could be a reasonable kind of consideration toward the.

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Ad Hominem Arguments by Douglas Walton

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