To Do or not To Do

The outing game

This topic contains 67 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 5 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 68 total)
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  • #1140

    Unseen
    Participant

    Can you direct me to a book or website which explains the difference between the fallacy and attack?

    You honestly don’t know the difference between an attack and a fallacy? I’m sorry. I find that hard to believe.

    In a verbal attack, you are attempting to damage someone’s reputation or self-esteem. When it comes to fallacies, you are not talking about the person at all but rather their logic.

    I don’t think I need to reference a book to justify the obvious.

    #1141

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    @unseen, @davis. Actually, my understanding is that an ad hominem fallacy is about the person not their argument. The fallacy is that you argue against a person’s personal characteristics rather than their logic. For example if you say Dr Bob’s arguments are bad because he is a Christian that is an ad hominem fallacy. If you post that Dr Bob is a f#@ing so and so that is an ad hominem attack.

    Apologies to Dr Bob for using him in the example.

    #1142

    Unseen
    Participant

    Actually, my understanding is that an ad hominem fallacy is about the person not their argument. The fallacy is that you argue against a person’s personal characteristics rather than their logic. For example if you say Dr Bob’s arguments are bad because he is a Christian that is an ad hominem fallacy. If you post that Dr Bob is a f#@ing so and so that is an ad hominem attack.

    You are talking about ad hominem fallacies as opposed to ad hominem attacks. For example, Donald Trump is engaging in ad hominem attacks against the other Republican presidential candidates here in the US. If Trump dismissed one of their arguments with a personal attack (don’t believe his argument because…he’s stupid, he’s ugly, he smokes, he abuses his wife, etc.), that would be the ad hominem fallacy, but ad hominem attacks can be applied just to the person and not to their arguments, as I explained. It all comes down to whether you are dismissing the person as a person (an attack) or some point they are trying to make (the fallacy). I hope that makes it clear.

    #1143

    Davis
    Participant

    You don’t need to reference anything you don’t want to…but the red flags are utterly flapping violently in the wind. Perhaps I am ignorant per these two terms. I don’t want to remain ignorant and…I would be delighted to learn a new, standardised and obvious set of terms used in academia or intellectual discourse. If it is so obvious I doubt it would take more than a minute of your time to give a link. It would be much appreciated.

    #1151

    Unseen
    Participant

    You don’t need to reference anything you don’t want to…but the red flags are utterly flapping violently in the wind. Perhaps I am ignorant per these two terms. I don’t want to remain ignorant and…I would be delighted to learn a new, standardised and obvious set of terms used in academia or intellectual discourse. If it is so obvious I doubt it would take more than a minute of your time to give a link. It would be much appreciated.

    Example of ad hominem being used apart from a discussion of logic to refer to a personal attack:

    In interviews, O’Reilly said the story was a “giant piece of defamation,” “a lie,” and a smear. He called one of the writers, David Corn, a “disgusting piece of garbage,” a “guttersnipe liar,” and a “far-left assassin.”
    Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, told CNNMoney that O’Reilly was resorting to ad-hominem attacks to distract from the substance of his report, which he co-authored with Daniel Schulman.
    (source)

    The point you seem to have a hard time grasping is that ad hominem isn’t only used in reference to logical fallacies. It has another place in the language as well. It also refers to attempts to damage the esteem (self- or otherwise) of one person by another.

    #1156

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    @unseen, the two examples you gave in your reply to me were the same as mine. We seem to be in agreement.

    #1162

    Davis
    Participant

    You don’t need to reference anything you don’t want to…but the red flags are utterly flapping violently in the wind. Perhaps I am ignorant per these two terms. I don’t want to remain ignorant and…I would be delighted to learn a new, standardised and obvious set of terms used in academia or intellectual discourse. If it is so obvious I doubt it would take more than a minute of your time to give a link. It would be much appreciated.

    Example of ad hominem being used apart from a discussion of logic to refer to a personal attack:

    In interviews, O’Reilly said the story was a “giant piece of defamation,” “a lie,” and a smear. He called one of the writers, David Corn, a “disgusting piece of garbage,” a “guttersnipe liar,” and a “far-left assassin.”
    Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, told CNNMoney that O’Reilly was resorting to ad-hominem attacks to distract from the substance of his report, which he co-authored with Daniel Schulman.
    (source)

    The point you seem to have a hard time grasping is that ad hominem isn’t only used in reference to logical fallacies. It has another place in the language as well. It also refers to attempts to damage the esteem (self- or otherwise) of one person by another.

    Unseen…I asked for a reference which difines the difference between ad hominem attack and ad hominem fallacy. You haven’t done that and I highly doubt you can. While your definitions seem logical (maybe) these are your own terms you’ve made up (as distinct). So claiming that you are surprised I’ve never heard the difference…is quite a stretch considering I cannot find a single document online nor in two academic databases nor a 20 volume philosophy encyclopedia. A newspaper article hardly backs up your claim…it illustrates the difference between the two terms that exist in your mind.

    I very much understand the two different terms as you see them…but you are implying these two terms are widely understood as different (ad hominem attack vs ad hominem fallacy). I admire you inventing new terminology to help differentiate two different ideas…but admit they are your terms instead of feigning shock that someone confuses the two widely used terms.

    #1174

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen…I asked for a reference which difines the difference between ad hominem attack and ad hominem fallacy.

    So, if I say Joe Blow is an idiot without referencing any arguments he’s making or positions he’s taken, it’s not an ad hominem attack. I can only use those words in criticizing arguments? Nonsense.

    You want definitions? Here are ostensive definitions (definition by example):

    QUOTE:

    How to engage in an Ad Hominem attack on Facebook:
    1. Look up where the person grew up and claim to have grown up somewhere far more impoverished. Claim that they don’t understand the real world because of their “privilege.”
    2. Look up their education level. If they are educated, assume they’ve never worked a day in their lives. Call them “privileged.” (Combine with #1 for a greater effect.)
    3. If they are female and married, assume that they are subordinate to the patriarchy. Call them “anti-feminist.”
    4. If they are female and have no kids, break out the single mother card (they didn’t have it as tough as you).
    5. If they are male, JACKPOT. It doesn’t matter what education level they have or where they come from or what they’ve done. They don’t understand. They’re “sexist.” And now you’re ‪#‎triggered‬.
    6. If they are white, “white privilege”…and don’t forget “racist.”
    7. If they are any other race, claim to be other-kin. You can now officially call them a “racist.”
    8. Once this process is complete for an individual, you can start the process over with family members.

    END QUOTE (source)

    In this example, law professor Alan Dershowitz is accused of going ad hominem in order to smear another person’s reputation. No mention in the entire argument of the ad hominem being used in reference to the other person’s arguments:

    And what does Dershowitz do in his latest piece? Well, just what Pogrebin deplored: more ad hominem attacks. First he refers to Goldstone as a Zionist– which Goldstone is– then calls him “a purported Zionist.” What does that kind of innuendo mean? Dershowitz repeatedly brings up Goldstone’s role as a judge in apartheid South Africa, when he ordered whippings and capital punishment for blacks. True; as Naomi Klein writes in the introduction to our book, Goldstone was “required to enforce the country’s brutal discriminatory laws,” and he did. But those actions are minor when you compare them to his achievements in helping to end that system. (quote)

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #1176

    Strega
    Moderator

    @unseen. I think the point is that there is no objective definition of the difference between “attack” and “fallacy” when they are appended to the term “ad hominem”.

    @davis seems to appreciate that you have a personal definition difference, but alleges that your definitions are just that. Personal.

    What would be interesting is if there were external sources to make such a definition more robust.

    #1185

    Unseen
    Participant

    That is new to me unseen. As I was taught…an ad hominem fallacy is an attack. Can you direct me to a book or website which explains the difference between the fallacy and attack?

    I got this again for some reason. Asked and answered.

    Anyway, getting the same email notification more than once happened a lot on TA. Weird that it happens here as well.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #1186

    Unseen
    Participant

    What would be interesting is if there were external sources to make such a definition more robust.

    I have given some external examples of the usage of ad hominem in contexts apart from a logical dispute.

    #1188

    Strega
    Moderator

    @unseen. None of the examples you provided point to the difference between “fallacy” and “attack” when appended to “ad hominem”

    #1189

    Strega
    Moderator

    Anyway, getting the same email notification more than once happened a lot on TA. Weird that it happens here as well.

    If you check the box at the bottom of your post saying ‘notify me of follow up replies by email’ you get an email every time someone posts to that thread. If someone mentions you as @unseen then you get an email to tell you you’ve been mentioned. Consequently if you get mentioned in a follow up post, you’re likely to get two emails.

    #1191

    Davis
    Participant

    @unseen. None of the examples you provided point to the difference between “fallacy” and “attack” when appended to “ad hominem”

    What Strega said. I personally think it would be a great idea to have two different terms (with the exact labels you gave).….but at least per all of the scouring I’ve done these terms are not commonly used or accepted as so far defined. Coin the terms if you like…and then you can take credit for it. It would be a very interesting philosophical question: what is the difference (or characteristics) between personal attacks to discredit an argument made vs. personal attacks to discredit the reliability/integrity/sincerity of a participnt in discussions, decision making processes and leadership roles.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Davis.
    #1195

    Unseen
    Participant

    None of the examples you provided point to the difference between “fallacy” and “attack” when appended to “ad hominem”

    If I say “Joe Blow is a right-wing nut job,” I’m not arguing with his logic, am I? And yet, I’m attacking him as a person (ad hominem). If I say, “Don’t believe Joe Blow because he’s right-wing,” that is an ad hominem fallacy (if his position is wrong, it’s not because of his conservatism but because he’s wrong on the facts or his logic is lacking.

    One ad hominem is not about logic, the other is.

    My examples show this.

    Try this: “Davis is a pompous pedant.” That is ad hominem (against the person) by the very meaning of the term “ad hominem.” It’s an attack against the person of Davis and making no reference to any argument he has made. On the other hand, if I say “Don’t believe anything Davis says because he’s a pompous pedant,” clearly I’m committing the ad hominem fallacy.

    If you still don’t get it, you won’t get it, I guess.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
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