Felicity Conditions For The Circumstantial ad Hominem

The Case of Bush v. Gore
  • David Zarefsky
Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 8)


In popular usage and many textbooks on reasoning, the argument ad hominem is defined as a personal attack on one’s opponent, which is a distraction from the real issues at hand. Because it is a diversion, substituting personal for substantive argument, it is defined as a fallacy per se. As is often the case in informal reasoning, however, it is not as simple as that. Not all ad hominem arguments are fallacies, and in not all situations is the ad hominem inappropriate.


Presidential Election Personal Attack Equal Protection Safe Harbor Electoral Vote 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

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  • David Zarefsky

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