What is an ad hominem argument and why is it important in ethical discussions?

  

Number your paper from 1-4 and answer each question.Write a brief 1-2 sentence introduction defining the Ad Hominem Argument.In your own words,explain the meaning of afallaciousad hominem argument and give an original example.In your own words, explain the meaning of alegitimatead hominem argument and give an original example. Questions 2 and 3 should be answered thoroughly, with a minimum of 1complete paragraph for each question (3-5 sentences).In your own words, explain how understanding the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument is important to ethical discussion. Question 4 should be more in-depth and descriptive.Use a minimum of two paragraphs (3-5 sentences each).Use a concluding sentence that summarizes your points about the distinction.Use 2 pieces of information from the assigned material to support your reasoning. Note: This information must be cited and referenced according to APA guidelines. If you summarize an idea that is not your own, it must be cited properly. If you quote directly from other material, it must be placed in quotation marks and cited properly. Use quotationsonlyif the quotation is short and the idea cannot be expressed in any other way.

1. Introduction:

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
What is an ad hominem argument and why is it important in ethical discussions?
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

An ad hominem argument is a type of logical fallacy that involves personal attacks against the opponent rather than addressing their arguments. In this paper, we will distinguish between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument and discuss the importance of understanding this distinction in ethical discussions.

2. Definition of a Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument:

A fallacious ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy that attacks the opponent’s character, reputation, or personal traits instead of addressing their arguments. For example, if someone argues that we should increase taxes on the wealthy to fund social programs, and their opponent responds by saying, “We shouldn’t listen to him because he’s a convicted felon,” this is a fallacious ad hominem argument. Instead of addressing the argument and its merits, the opponent attacks the person’s character, which is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

3. Definition of a Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument:

On the other hand, a legitimate ad hominem argument addresses the opposing argument by taking into account the person’s experience or expertise in the field. For example, if a climate change denier argues against the scientific consensus on climate change, it may be legitimate to point out that they are not a climate scientist or have not published any peer-reviewed research on the topic. This is a valid ad hominem argument because it directly addresses the person’s lack of expertise in the area and its relevance to their argument.

4. Importance of Understanding the Distinction:

It is important to understand the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument in ethical discussions because it affects how we engage with opposing views. We want to ensure that our arguments are based on valid reasoning and evidence, rather than personal attacks. Therefore, understanding when it is appropriate to use a legitimate ad hominem argument based on experience or expertise can strengthen our position and help us defend our beliefs with more persuasive arguments. Additionally, recognizing when someone is using a fallacious ad hominem argument can allow us to redirect the conversation back to the topic at hand and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant personal attacks. As stated by Lachlan, Whissell, and Hyde (2017), “An ad hominem argument may highlight a personal flaw of the opponent that is not relevant to the argument, which distracts from the discussion and muddies the waters” (p. 225). Therefore, understanding the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument is crucial for productive and respectful ethical discussions.

Reference:

Lachlan, K. A., Whissell, C.M., and Hyde, M.K. (2017). Interpersonal communication. De Gruyter.

1. Introduction:
Ad hominem argument is a type of fallacy in which the argument is attacked by criticizing the person who is presenting it, rather than the argument itself. In this paper, we will explore the meaning of fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments and the importance of understanding the distinction in ethical discussions.

2. Explanation of Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument:
A fallacious ad hominem argument is one where the attacker targets the person presenting the argument rather than the argument itself. It is an invalid argument that creates a distraction from the real issue, undermining the credibility of the opponent. For example, if your opponent in a debate argues that we need to take measures to address climate change, and you respond by saying that they are not a scientist, so they cannot speak on the issue, then you are committing a fallacious ad hominem argument. This argument distracts from the actual argument, which is whether or not climate change is real and needs to be addressed.

3. Explanation of Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument:
A legitimate ad hominem argument is one where the character of the person presenting the argument is relevant to the argument itself. In this case, the credibility, bias, or personal experience of the opponent is being evaluated to assess whether or not their argument is valid. For instance, if a politician is arguing for a new law to address racism in society while also having a history of racist statements, it is legitimate to question their credibility. In this case, the person’s previous statements show that they may be insincere in their advocacy for this new law, thus making their proposal suspect.

4. Importance of Distinction between Fallacious and legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments:
Understanding the distinction between fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments is crucial to ethical discussions. Legitimate ad hominem arguments can help identify when a person’s bias or credibility is relevant to the argument being made. While fallacious ad hominem arguments make it difficult to have a constructive dialogue, as they are an attack on the person rather than the argument. According to Olen (2017), when discussing controversial issues, it is important to “focus on the issue itself and effectively challenge the evidence and arguments offered” (p. 90). Learning the distinction between fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments allows us to stay focused on the issue at hand and have more productive discussions that are based on the content of the argument, rather than personal attacks.

Solution 1: Fallacious and Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments

1. Introduction:
Ad Hominem Argument is a Latin expression that means “against the person”. It is a type of argument that attacks the person instead of addressing the issue. In other words, it is a tactic used to discredit the person rather than his or her argument.

2. Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument:
A Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument occurs when someone attacks the person rather than addressing the argument or evidence at hand. For example, if someone says that “John cannot be a good business writer because he dropped out of college,” this is a fallacious ad hominem argument because a person’s education level has nothing to do with his or her writing skills.

3. Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument:
A Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument occurs when someone’s personal characteristics or actions are directly related to the issue at hand. For example, if a politician is accused of being dishonest, and it is revealed that he has lied before, it is a legitimate ad hominem argument to point this out as evidence against his character.

4. The Importance of Understanding the Distinction:
The distinction between fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments is important to ethical discussion because it allows us to separate personal attacks from legitimate criticisms and arguments. It is important to be able to recognize when an ad hominem attack is used and to be able to address the actual issue at hand. Understanding the difference between fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments can also prevent people from unfairly attacking someone’s character instead of addressing their argument. According to Walton, (2016) “a fallacious ad hominem may succeed, at least temporarily, in persuading some of the audience. Consequently, it is important to be alert to such fallacious moves in argument.” Thus, the distinction is important in maintaining ethical discussion and argumentation.

Solution 2: Why the Distinction between Fallacious and Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments Matters

1. Introduction:
An Ad Hominem Argument is a type of argumentative technique where the speaker attacks the character or traits of the person making the argument instead of the argument itself. This can be done in a legitimate or illegitimate manner.

2. Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument:
A fallacious Ad Hominem Argument attacks the person making the argument rather than the argument itself. An example of this would be if someone were to say, “You cannot believe her opinions on politics because she is not good at math.” The person’s math skills have nothing to do with the argument at hand.

3. Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument:
A legitimate Ad Hominem Argument attacks the person making the argument when that person’s character is relevant to the argument. An example would be if a person were running for public office and someone brought up past misdemeanours as evidence of their lack of character.

4. The Importance of Understanding the Distinction:
It is important to understand the difference between fallacious and legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments because the fallacious type prevents a fair discussion from happening. Furthermore, the legitimate type is still subject to some debate as it can be used inappropriately. Therefore, those engaging in ethical discussion and argumentation must be aware of the distinction between the two in order to identify them when they occur. According to Ad Fontes Academy (2021), “A legitimate Ad Hominem Argument attends to individual character traits for the purpose of evaluating an argument. Such arguments can be beneficial and should be encouraged, so long as they are based on evidence that is logically relevant to the argument at hand and not merely an attempt to discredit an opponent by attacking character.” By understanding the distinction between the two, those engaged in ethical debate and conversation can more effectively identify and counter the illegitimate Ad Hominem Argument types while still allowing for legitimate ones to serve their purpose.

1. Suggested Resources/Books
– “The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning” by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn
– “Thinking Critically” by John Chaffee
– “Logic: A Very Short Introduction” by Graham Priest
– “Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation” by Douglas N. Walton

2. Explain the meaning of a fallacious ad hominem argument and give an original example.
A fallacious ad hominem argument is a type of argument that attacks the character or personal traits of an opponent instead of the argument the opponent is making. It is considered fallacious because it does not address the merits of the argument itself, but instead focuses on irrelevant and often negative characteristics of the opponent. An example of a fallacious ad hominem argument would be if someone were to argue against a point made by a politician by saying “Well, he’s a convicted criminal, so we shouldn’t listen to him.” This argument is fallacious because it attempts to undermine the politician’s argument by attacking their character, rather than addressing the argument itself.

3. Explain the meaning of a legitimate ad hominem argument and give an original example.
A legitimate ad hominem argument is a type of argument that attacks the character or personal traits of an opponent when those traits are directly relevant to the argument being made. A legitimate ad hominem argument does not attack the person as a means of discrediting their entire argument, but instead focuses on a specific aspect of the argument that can be undermined based on the character of the opponent. An example of a legitimate ad hominem argument would be if a medical professional were to argue against a point made by a known fraudster in the medical industry by saying “This person has a history of falsifying medical data, so we cannot trust their research on this topic.” In this case, the personal history of the opponent is directly relevant to the argument being made, and therefore can provide insight into the validity of their argument.

4. Explain how understanding the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument is important to ethical discussion.
Understanding the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument is important to ethical discussion because it allows for more effective and respectful discourse between individuals. Being able to distinguish between these two types of arguments helps ensure that arguments are being evaluated based on their own merits, rather than being dismissed or accepted based on the character of the person making the argument. According to Damer (2013), fostering a culture of critical thinking is key to developing ethical dialogues, and being able to recognize and avoid fallacious ad hominem arguments contributes to this culture. Additionally, recognizing when ad hominem arguments can be considered legitimate can help prevent individuals from being unfairly persecuted or dismissed due to their past actions, while still holding them accountable for the specific aspects of their argument that are being challenged.

Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
× How can I help you?