What is the definition of an ad hominem argument?

  

Instructions
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: Defining Ad Hominem Argument
Ad Hominem, in Latin, means “against the person.” Thus, an ad hominem argument is one that attacks the person making the argument, instead of addressing the substance of the argument itself. It is a type of logical fallacy, which means it is an argument that is flawed and does not hold up under critical thinking and examination.

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2. Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument Explanation and Example
A fallacious ad hominem argument is an argument that attacks the person making the argument instead of addressing the argument itself. This type of argument is flawed because it focuses on the person rather than the argument, and it is not a legitimate way of refuting or disproving someone’s ideas. For example, if a politician argues for universal healthcare, and someone responds, “Well, that politician is a liar and can’t be trusted,” that is a fallacious ad hominem argument. This response does not address the substance of the argument, which is whether or not universal healthcare is a good policy.

3. Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument Explanation and Example
A legitimate ad hominem argument is a type of argument that critiques the character or credibility of the person making the argument. This type of argument is valid only if the character or credibility of the person making the argument is directly relevant to the argument itself. For example, if a medical researcher argues that a new drug is safe, and someone responds, “Well, that researcher has been discredited in the past for falsifying data,” that is a legitimate ad hominem argument. The researcher’s credibility is directly relevant to the argument at hand, which is whether or not the drug is safe.

4. Importance of Understanding the Distinction between Fallacious and Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments in 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 us to evaluate arguments critically and effectively. By recognizing fallacious ad hominem arguments, we can avoid making arguments that are based on personal attacks rather than substance. On the other hand, by recognizing legitimate ad hominem arguments, we can identify when someone’s credibility or character is relevant to a discussion and address those issues directly. According to Oliver and Rescher (2004), “The ad hominem critic who relies solely on attacking the person, regardless of the details of the issue, is simply engaging in abusive conduct which only serves to deflect attention away from the issue in question” (p. 33). This demonstrates that understanding the distinction is important for ethical discussion and reasoning, and allows us to have more productive and meaningful discussions.

1. Introduction:

An ad hominem argument is a type of argument that attacks the individual rather than focusing on the substance of their argument. This often involves attacking their character, personal traits or other unrelated factors.

2. Objective/Learning Outcome 1:

Objective: To be able to distinguish between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument.

Learning Outcome: After completing this objective, the learner will be able to identify the key differences between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument.

2.1. Fallacious ad hominem argument:

A fallacious ad hominem argument is an argument that attacks an individual’s character or personal traits instead of focusing on the substance of their argument. This type of argument is flawed because it does not address the actual argument being made and does not add anything of value to the discussion. An example of a fallacious ad hominem argument would be: “You cannot trust the argument of a smoker, they have no credibility to discuss the health effects of smoking”.

3. Objective/Learning Outcome 2:

Objective: To understand the importance of the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument in ethical discussions.

Learning Outcome: After completing this objective, the learner will be able to explain the importance of distinguishing between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument in ethical discussions.

3.1. Legitimate ad hominem argument:

A legitimate ad hominem argument is an argument that takes into account relevant personal traits or characteristics of an individual that have a direct impact on their argument. For example, if a climate change denier is found to have considerable investments in the fossil fuel industry, it is a legitimate ad hominem argument to question their motives behind denying the reality of climate change.

3.2. Importance of the distinction:

Understanding the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument is crucial for ethical discussions because it allows for a more nuanced view of arguments and their validity. While fallacious ad hominem arguments detract from the discussion and often do not address the issue at hand, legitimate ad hominem arguments may provide valuable insight into a person’s motivations or biases that could impact their argument. By knowing the difference between the two, we can make better-informed decisions based on the substance of the argument at hand, rather than basing them solely on personal attacks.

4. Objective/Learning Outcome 3:

Objective: To demonstrate the importance of the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument through examples and supporting evidence.

Learning Outcome: After completing this objective, the learner will be able to effectively communicate the importance of the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument through examples and supporting evidence.

4.1. Supporting evidence:

Supporting evidence for the importance of the distinction can be found in the article “Making Sense of Ad Hominem Arguments” by Mark Vorobej. Vorobej argues that while fallacious ad hominem arguments are often used as a means of discrediting an argument without addressing its substance, legitimate ad hominem arguments may be useful in certain circumstances. For example, if a politician claims to be an advocate for climate change while driving a gas-guzzling SUV, they may be subject to a legitimate ad hominem attack for their hypocrisy. This type of argument can be useful in exposing inconsistencies in their arguments and revealing alternative or hidden agendas.

Another reference may include the book “The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning” by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn. The book highlights several examples of fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments in everyday life and emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between the two.

4.2. Conclusion:

In conclusion, the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument is crucial for ethical discussions. While fallacious ad hominem arguments rely on personal attacks and are often used to discredit an argument without addressing its substance, legitimate ad hominem arguments may provide valuable insights into a person’s motivations or biases. Understanding the difference between the two can lead to more effective communication and better-informed decision making.

Introduction:

Ad Hominem is a type of argument that is aimed at a person rather than the issue at hand. It is a common tactic used in debates and arguments, but it can be employed unfairly or misleadingly, making it a logical fallacy. There are two types of Ad Hominem arguments: fallacious and legitimate.

Solution 1: Fallacious Ad Hominem Argument

A fallacious Ad Hominem argument is a type of argument that attacks a person’s character instead of addressing the argument itself. A fallacious Ad Hominem argument is an irrational technique that seeks to dismiss a person’s claim by attacking their credibility.

For example, if a politician argues for higher taxes on the wealthy, and someone responds by saying, “You can’t trust anything that politician says because he’s known to lie,” the argument is fallacious Ad Hominem. In this case, the response does not address the argument but instead attacks the politician’s character, implying that the politician is dishonest and his argument is not worth considering.

Solution 2: Legitimate Ad Hominem Argument

A legitimate Ad Hominem argument is a type of argument that attacks a person’s character when their character is relevant to the argument at hand. Legitimate Ad Hominem arguments are used to evaluate a person’s credibility when their credibility is directly related to the argument.

For example, if a person who is advocating for the rights of animals is discovered to be unethically farming and slaughtering animals for food, they can be accused of hypocrisy and called out on their lack of credibility regarding animal rights. In this case, the person’s lack of credibility on the issue of animal rights is directly related to the argument at hand, and addressing it can be a legitimate Ad Hominem argument.

Importance of understanding the distinction between fallacious and legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments

It is important to understand the distinction between fallacious and legitimate Ad Hominem arguments in ethical discussions because it can help ensure that arguments are evaluated based on their merit instead of personal attacks. According to Goddu, “…making judgments about others is an essential part of ethical deliberation…Your assessment of a speaker’s trustworthiness is frequently necessary for ethical deliberation” (Goddu, n.d.). In other words, evaluating a person’s credibility is essential in ethical debates, but this evaluation can be fallacious or legitimate.

On the one hand, fallacious Ad Hominem arguments can distract from the issue at hand, making it difficult to reach a reasoned conclusion. On the other hand, legitimate Ad Hominem arguments can help to inform an ethical debate by providing contextual background information that is relevant to the argument being made.

In Conclusion:

The distinction between fallacious and legitimate Ad Hominem arguments is crucial. Fallacious Ad Hominem arguments are an irrational technique that seeks to dismiss an argument by attacking the character of the person making it, whereas legitimate Ad Hominem arguments are used to evaluate a person’s credibility when their credibility is directly related to the argument. Understanding this distinction is important in ensuring that ethical discussions are evaluated based on merit, and not on personal attacks.

Reference:

Goddu, G. C. (n.d.). Ad Hominem Arguments. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 28 June 2021, from https://iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#AdHominem.

Introduction:
An Ad Hominem Argument is a type of argumentative strategy where an individual attacks the character, motive or any other attribute of the person who is making the argument rather than focusing on the logical reasoning or evidence provided by the argument.

1) Suggested Resources/Books:
– “The Fallacy Detective” by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn
– “Logical Fallacies: 180 Cartoons on Logical Fallacies” by Michael LaBossiere
– “The Art of Reasoning” by David Kelley

2) What is a fallacious ad hominem argument and give an original example:
A fallacious ad hominem argument is an argument where an individual attacks the character or any other attribute of the person making the argument instead of the argument itself. This type of argument is invalid and does not provide any evidence or reasoning to support the argument. For instance, if someone argues that smoking is harmful to health and the other person responds by saying that the person is a smoker himself, therefore, his argument is invalid.

3) What is a legitimate ad hominem argument and give an original example:
A legitimate ad hominem argument is an argument where the character or any other attribute of the person making the argument is relevant to the argument. For instance, if a witness in a court case is a known liar and has been convicted of perjury in the past, their credibility as a witness can be questioned.

4) Why is it important to understand the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument in ethical discussion?
It is crucial to understand the distinction between a fallacious ad hominem argument and a legitimate ad hominem argument in ethical discussion as it helps in evaluating the arguments and avoiding invalid conclusions. Understanding this distinction ensures that arguments are evaluated based on their merit and not on the individual’s character or motive. An example of this can be seen in the case of whistleblowers, where their character and motive are often questioned instead of focusing on the information they provide. According to the article “The Ethics of Whistleblowing” by Paul Dunn, “Critics often focus on alleged motives of whistleblowers, thereby detracting attention from whether or not what they say is true and how serious the wrongdoing is.”

To conclude, understanding the difference between fallacious and legitimate ad hominem arguments in ethical discussions is important for evaluating arguments based on their merit and providing a more accurate and informed evaluation.

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