There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
Damning with faint praise
| Part of the series on|
Logic and rhetoric
Damning with faint praise is a logical fallacy when someone is attacked through praise of an achievement that isn't praiseworthy or isn't significantly praiseworthy, suggesting that no achievements worthy of praise exist.
- P1: Source X says Y is true.
- P2: Source X has trait Z which is slightly praiseworthy.
- C1: Y is false.
- "[William] Paley was not a particularly original writer. For example, his famous analogy of the watch at the beginning of the work was not his invention. And he probably took too much for granted. But he showed very considerable skill and ability in his arrangement of his matter and in the development of his argument. And it is, in my opinion, an exaggeration to suggest, as is sometimes done, that his line of thought is worthless."
- "Mr[.] Cauz characterised Wikipedia as containing "plenty of cracks on it in terms of the quality". "It's very uneven, the facts are not always correct, the model contains a lot of pitfalls." Damning his competitor with faint praise, he said a big problem was that many users considered Wikipedia to be 'fine' or 'good enough'."
“”Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
|—Alexander Pope, "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot"|
“”When needs he must, yet faintly then he praises,
Somewhat the deed, much more the means he raises:
|—Phineas Fletcher, "The Purple Island"|
- See the Wikipedia article on Damning with faint praise.
- See the Wikipedia article on Insult § Backhanded compliment.
- "Damning With Faint Praise", Bruce Thompson
- "Damning With Faint Praise", Logically Fallacious