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Re: OT fallacies

From: mAsterdam <>
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 09:04:59 +0200
Message-ID: <44813429$0$31645$>

Keith H Duggar wrote:
> mAsterdam wrote:

>>Marshall wrote:
>>>Keith H Duggar wrote:
>>>>What BB wrote may be called an /insult/ but it is not
>>>>ad hominem since it is not even an argument.
>>>>What BB wrote ... is not even an argument.
>>True. No logic, no fallacy, just ad hominem.
>>>>Ad hominem refers to a fallacious form of
>>>>/argumentation/. BB's argumentation followed that
>>>>insult. The insult was not his argument. Do you
>>>>understand?  You are not alone in this increasingly
>>>>common misconception that insult = ad hominem.
>>>Some examples:
>>>"What you wrote is wrong, therefore you suck." Not
>>>"You suck, therefore what you wrote is wrong."
>>>"You suck." Not ad-hominem.
>>All three utterances are not by themselves examples of the
>>"ad-hominem" logical fallacy. All of them are ad hominem
>>(=personal) attacks, though.

> Unfortunately, mAsterdam, this loose usage of "ad hominem =
> any personal attack" is a relatively recent concoction of
> the ignorant masses. (See for example the discussion at
> Your equation
> "ad hominem = personal" above also shows that, in this case,
> you share this mass ignorance of what the Latin actually
> means.
> We can easily surmise what happened. At some point in recent
> past various members of the ignorant masses heard someone
> use the phrase "ad hominem" to describe a fallacious appeal
> to the emotions of those observing a debate (the correct and
> original meaning). Some among the masses, never having heard
> this "cool" new phrase "ad hominem" before and wanting to
> themselves be "cool", decided to emulate this new behavior.
> Having little use for logic and, further still, not
> realizing that emotions impact their ability to reason, yet
> still needing to "understand" the new phrase to "correctly"
> employ it, they assumed that "ad hominem" must, therefore,
> refer simply to insults and personal attacks. Desiring above
> all else to be "cool" and sound impressive, these simpletons
> seized, as soon as they could, any chance to use their new
> "educated" phrase. Thus, they elevated themselves from the
> ranks of the merely ignorant to full-fledged VI (vociferous
> ignoramuses). The rest is history.
> Therefore, follow not this modern VI fashion and quibble not
> with those educated in the actual meaning of the phrase.
>>True, but that does not make it right.

> And the vociferously ignorant SEVERELY hamper the progress of
> human kind. How to deal with them efficiently is a difficult
> dilemma. And, unfortunately, cyberspace has provided them a
> fertile breeding ground. Do you have an suggestions?
>>The insults /do/ constitute personal attacks.  They are
>>highly distracting, serve the same purpose as the logical

> How do you know the purpose of those insults? I for one
> believe they served a /very/ different purpose having
> little to do with the argumentation here.
> -- Keith --
Received on Sat Jun 03 2006 - 02:04:59 CDT

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