ad hominem

13 Nov 2022 02:26 - 13 Nov 2022 08:24
Open in Logseq
    • A perfectly common and often quite valid form of argument
    • Logicians are apt to call this an argumentum ad hominem. Quite so: I am addressing humans. I am addressing neither dogs nor logicians.
      • – Gene Ward Smith (?)
    • A comment on The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ad Hominem - LessWrong
      • Hm, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the evidentiary reasoning version of ad hominem, something like "you seem to have a bad character, so I'm going to assign low weight to anything you say". I use this rule all the time. Ie, I'll give more weight to statements made in a reputable scientific journal than those on a Nazi website. This is not a valid argument againt anything on the Nazi website, just a rule that says not to pay too much attention to stuff found there, or at least seek independent verification from a more reputable source. There ought to be a fancy rhetorical term for this...there is for the opposite. Authority of sources is an important and under-described part of practical reason, and attacking the authority of a source is a pretty common form of argument that is quasi-ad-hominem but valid.