Ad hominem  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the person", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to an irrelevant characteristic about the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. It is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or personally attacking an argument's proponent in an attempt to discredit that argument. A reductio ad Hitlerum argument can be seen as a special case of an ad hominem argument, since these arguments are attacking something supposedly said or supported by Adolf Hitler, who is usually considered to have been an evil person.

Taxonomy

The argumentum ad hominem is a genetic fallacy and red herring, and is often (but not necessarily) an appeal to emotion. Argumentum ad hominem includes poisoning the well.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ad hominem" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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