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Your Logical Fallacy Is

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Part of the series on
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Your Logical Fallacy Is (YLFI) is a website detailing 24 logical fallacies. The page was constructed by Jesse Richardson, an "ad guy", who attempted to make all of the fallacies as simple as possible.[1]

Ad hominem entry[edit]


You attacked your opponent's character or personal traits instead of engaging with their argument.

Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes. The desired result of an ad hom attack is to undermine one's opponent without actually having to engage with their argument or present a compelling argument of one's own.

Example: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn't married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

The entry on ad hominem on YLFI fails to adequately explain what does not count as an ad hominem. Ad hominem isn't just being abusive or mean, it is saying that the person is wrong because of the purported negative characteristic that you attribute to them.

Creationists, for instance, aren't wrong because they are idiots. They are wrong because the evidence doesn't support their point of view. The fact that they persist in believing their point of view in spite of the evidence may be good cause for saying that they are idiots though. That isn't ad hominem.

Saying "this guy is a wifebeater!" isn't an ad hominem. Saying "you shouldn't believe what this man says about quantum physics because he is a wifebeater" is. See Argumentum ad hominem#Not ad hom.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]