This article outlines criteria for the evaluation of the argumentum ad hominem (argument against the person, or personal attack in argument) that is traditionally a part of the curriculum in informal logic. The argument is shown to be a kind of criticism which works by shifting the burden of proof in dialogue through citing a pragmatic inconsistency in an arguer's position. Several specific cases of ad hominem argumentation which pose interesting problems in analyzing this type of criticism are studied.
Key wordsargumentation personal attack fallacies criticisms informal logic dialogue bias rhetoric inconsistency refutation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Barth, E. M. and E. C. W. Krabbe: 1982, From Axiom to Dialogue, New York, De Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Barth, E. M. and J. L. Martens: 1977, ‘Argumentum Ad Hominem: From Chaos to Formal Dialectic’, Logique et Analyse, 77–78, 76–96.Google Scholar
- Brinton, Alan: 1985, ‘A Rhetorical View of the Ad Hominem’ Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63, 50–63.Google Scholar
- DeMorgan, A.: 1847, Formal Logic, London, Taylor and Walton.Google Scholar
- Govier, T.: 1983, ‘Ad Hominem: Revising the Textbooks’, Teaching Philosophy 6, 13–24.Google Scholar
- Hamblin, C. L.: 1970, Fallacies, London, Methuen.Google Scholar
- Hinman, Lawrence M.,: 1982, ‘The Case for Ad Hominem Arguments’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 60, 338–345.Google Scholar
- Hughes, G. E.: 1958, ‘Moral Condemnation’, in A. Melden (ed.), Essays in Moral Philosophy, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 108–134.Google Scholar
- Johnstone, H. W., Jr.: 1978, Validity and Rhetoric in Philosophical Argument, University Park, Dialogue Press of Man and World.Google Scholar
- Walton, D.: 1984, Logical Dialogue-Games and Fallacies, Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America.Google Scholar
- Walton, D.: 1985, Arguer's Position, Westport, Ct., Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Whately, R.: 1836, Elements of Logic, New York, William Jackson.Google Scholar
- Woods, J. and D. Walton: 1977, ‘Ad Hominem’, The Philosophical Forum 8, 1–20.Google Scholar