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Say It In Latin, Argumentum Ad Hominem

November 11, 2016 , , ,

The practice of trash talking with personal insults rather than appeal to reason has dominated our political season.  This kind of logic is known as argumentum ad hominem, or ad hominem for short.  The personal attack is intended to discredit any statement made by the opponent. It is a logical red herring designed to distract from the business at hand.  It is the full time occupation of the Congress of the United States.

Ad hominem tu quoque is to use the “I know you are but what am I?” line of reasoning.  It translates to “You do that too.”  There is a big difference between a persuasive argument and a statement of fact. In order to reach valid conclusions it is important to distinguish guilt by association or circumstance from cold, hard, empirical facts.  All’s fair in marketing and politics.  The emotional ad hominem is used freely and frequently to convince people to vote or buy something.  We are all being manipulated, like it or not.  In order to be an independent thinker one must consider empirical facts at face value, without prejudice. Conversely, if it is our goal to hoodwink or control our audience it appears that trash talking works very well.  Next time you find yourself in an argument notice how long it takes for this tactic to be used.  It is a very common weapon, gentle reader.  Don’t be fooled by association fallacies.  They are enormously popular.

Ad hominem tu quoque

Ad hominem tu quoque

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comments

Reblogged this on If it ain't broke….

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testinginwnc

November 12, 2016

Thanks for the reblog

Liked by 1 person

Pamela Morse

November 12, 2016

This is definitely “trash talking” though it can be used in a different more modest way,. It’s a slick sales method but it’s also insulting in another way. Great explanation

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

November 14, 2016

Thanks Stevie.

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Pamela Morse

November 14, 2016

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