Christopher Menzel wrote:
> On Apr 17, 2009, at 12:58 PM, Ryan Kohl wrote:
>> Azamat seems to be right - an ad hominem argument would be of the
>> form "Statement X is true/false because person Y said Z"
> Or "did Z" or "is a Republican" or .... Basically, any attempt to
> suggest Y's assertion is false by attacking Y's character or
> questioning Y's motives is an ad hominem argument. Also, I'd say that
> you only want "false", rather than "true/false" above; an argument
> that appeals to what Y said or did as a reason for the *truth* of X is
> usually a so-called "appeal to authority". Would you agree, Ryan?
Makes sense - since 'ad hominem argument' and 'ad hominem attack' are
usually used synonymously, I'd be tempted to go with your distinction.
Although, I wonder about these two (terrible) arguments: (01)
"The iPhone is great" is true because Pat Hayes is a Republican who
hates Apple Computers.
"The iPhone is terrible" is false because Pat Hayes is a Republican who
hates Apple Computers. (02)
In this case, it seems that the distinction is not whether X is true or
false, but rather whether Y agrees with the truth valuation of X in the
argument. That is, I'd argue that both these statements are ad hominem
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