Ad hominem

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An ad hominem argument or attack is where the arguer advances an irrelevant criticism of the source of the opposing argument as evidence or proof that the arguer is correct:

  • "You must be an idiot if you think that."
  • "Of course you would say that, being a high-school dropout."
  • "What lying commie-traitor blog did you get that from?"

"Name-calling" is an ad hominem technique.

Ad hominem is a form of reasoning by reputation, in that it presumes destruction of an opposing arguer's reputation also destroys the opposing argument.


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