(argumentum) Ad Hominem... is it or not?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Sarkus, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Correct. So you can't say "well, if they say X they MUST be stupid!"
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Correct. That's why I didn't.
    I said that if Poster A keeps posting stupid remarks on Subject X, Poster B might argue that the evidence presented lead him to the conclude that poster A is stupid, and that would not constitute an ad hominem argument.
    Poster A may make brilliant observations on Subjects A though W, but those are not in evidence in this situation, and thus not available for Poster B to evaluate.
    My personal, non-argumentative opinion is that stupidity confined to a single subject is still stupidity.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That sounds more like ignorance.
    Professor Z might know 999 sciences, but he knows nothing of the human heart.
    That woudn't make him - on the whole - stupid - it would just make him ignorant in one domain.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    OK. First it sounds like you are saying exactly that (i.e. that if they say X, they must be stupid.)

    Also, that's kinda the definition of an ad hominem argument - an argument directed against a person, not the material they are arguing. "Your argument is stupid" - not AHA. "You are stupid (for any reason)" - AHA.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    On the whole, no; on the heart, yes.
    If he is intelligent in general but ignorant on that subject, he should know that he's ignorant on that subject and refrain from making stupid statements. But if he persists in arguing on matters of the heart, in spite of his ignorance, that suggest that he doesn't realize his own ignorance on that subject; therefore, in that respect, he is stupid.And anyone who does know a lot about the heart - even if they're ignorant of the 999 sciences - in a debate with that professor, could make a valid argument to that effect, based on the evidence presented within the venue.
    You don't think smart people can be selectively stupid?
    I don't think it's worth going around a third time. That's not an assessment of participants, nor the quality of participation.
    It's cost/benefit calculation; the conclusion that a minor point having been too far removed in time and space from its point of origin to be worth the effort of defending.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think that smart people are selectively stupid. It's semantics and how you see them of course. "Stupid" generally refers to intelligence and not knowledge.
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    And where was it ever stated it was what you say it isn't?
    Quote please.
     
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Whether it has been stated that it is or isn’t is irrelevant. In another thread Bw/S asked the question of whether what was said was an argumentum ad hominem or not. You do not need to have explicitly stated that it was an ad hominem for it to be taken up as an example for discussion.
    Again, this thread is an attempt to look at the matter rationally, non-judgementally, etc.
    The question was asked, a response has been given.
    Do you disagree with the conclusion reached, that it was not an argumentum ad hominem? Your answer, and your reasoning for such, is all that is relevant to the matter.
     
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    And you expect the reader to take your word for it.
    I was never asked whether it was ad hominem or not.
    Are you trying to avoid your mistake again?
    Here is a screen shot of the conversation and it is obvious that the poster drew an inference from the link I provided as to what I may or may not have thought.

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    I at no stage stated that it was an AAH..
    so your very first example of a false AAH is in fact wrong. Which is really surprising given that you claim to know what you are talking about.

    Of course it is only an insult, that entirely reflects the abusive nature of the poster. It was never stated or considered as a AAH to begin with.
    Please justify why you believe that the response, which is an obvious insult only, was considered to be an AAH?

    The key to your argument is for you to contend that the inference taken was the inference intended..
    and it is extremely weak because:
    How can you Know what was intended?
    Perhaps asking, in good faith, may have been helpful instead of going to all this trouble for nothing.

    If you had asked I would have stated that the thread in question was expected to attract like minded members and the poster may actually learn something that may temper their insulting posting behavior in the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    So what? It is being used as an example. End of story.
    There is no mistake being made.
    Here is a screen shot of the conversation and it is obvious that the poster drew an inference from the link I provided as to what I may or may not have thought.
    I at no stage stated that it was an AAH..[/quote]Whether you stated that it was an AAH or not is irrelevant. Whether or not you intended to imply that it was is irrelevant. Whether the other poster inferred that it was being called an AAH or not is irrelevant. The only matter of relevance here is whether it is or is not.
    Where have I said that it is a false AAH? It is simply an example, raised because someone asked the question of whether it was or was not (his reasons for asking are his own), for consideration of whether it is an AAH or not.
    And my conclusion, at least, is that it is not. Others are more than welcome to chip in and agree or disagree as they see fit.
    In this thread I have not a care in the world whether it was intended, implied, accused of, etc. It is simply an example to be looked at in a non-judgemental and rational manner. Can you manage that, please?
    In this thread whether it was initially considered an AAH or not is irrelevant. Please get it through your head that this thread is simply to examine examples raised of posts, and whether or not the post is an example of an AAH. This example was selected because the poster asked the question of whether it was or was not. It’s as simple as that.
    The rest of your post is simply irrelevant to this thread. This thread starts with an example, in this case because the question was asked about it by the poster themself. Period.

    Get on board with that, or, with all due respect, QQ, kindly fuck off.
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Please can you refrain from letting your disagreement with QQ from that other thread spill over into this? Thanks.

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, an AHA is an argument intended to avoid, deflect, or otherwise counter the point raised, by attacking the person.
    If the attack on the person is a result of the points they raised, that is not an ad hominem, possibly just an insult. But if the attack on the person is the reason for the deflection, avoidance, counter, then that is an Argumentum Ad Hominem.

    It is a cause/effect type of thing...
    Points made by A lead B to conclude that A has character trait X.
    B counters/avoids/deflects points made by A by using an argument of A having character trait X.

    (An argument in this case is simply one or more things in support of a position.)

    E.g. “because you have said X, and X is wrong, I think that you are [insult]” is not an argumentum ad hominem.
    “X is wrong because you are [insult]” is an argumentum ad hominem.
    It is whether the personal attack is the argument for the evasion, deflection, rebuttal etc, rather than a side issue to it.
     
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    21,047
    ok...
    Most of your argument in this case rests on the inferences made and not on the actual words posted.
    like I wrote:
    The point being to make sure you include the subjectivity of the assessments in your analysis.
    Do you agree that the above post is relevant to your thread?
    If not I will gladly leave you to your...uhmmm discussion...and do as you so respectfully asked me to do and :

     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No. Any inference or implication on your or Bw/S’ part is irrelevant. The question was asked whether their post constituted an AAH. That is all that matters in why we are looking at it here.
    No, the above is not relevant to the thread. It does not matter whether Bw/S thought it was an AAH or not, but simply that they have asked whether, in our opinion, it is or is not.
    In my opinion, no, it is not an AAH, for reasons given, none of which needs to take into account whether or not you (inadvertently or otherwise) implied it was, nor whether Bw/S thinks it is or not.
     
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Not talking about bws am talking about yours...your inferences
     
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    An argument was offered, an example given
    bws took offense and:
    • avoided the argument and example given by me.
    • by attacking my intellectual capacity (retard)

    How is that not a AAH?

    You see interpretations/inferences matter.
    To me it was a pure insult designed to humiliate me as pay back for the unexpected and unintended humiliation she was feeling.
    Basically tit for tat.
    A retaliatory attempt to insult.. End of story as far as I was concerned.

    But now someone states that the criteria for an AAH is such and such and suddenly it is not just an attempt to insult but potentially an AAH as well and it all depends on what inferences you make and interpretations you make all of which are purely subjective, even if one was following the discussion from onset.
    Objectively it was simply an insult
    Subjectively it could be anything unless the criteria for an AAH is more defined to include an argument.
    It could be stated that her argument was, that I was incompetent thus my points were worthless.
    Simply by 3 words You're a retard.
    So indeed inferences and interpretations matter...
    I could just as easily refer to it as an AAH justifying in that way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    29,607
    No.
    That is nowhere near the definition of an ad hominem argument. Insults, derogations, denigrations, slanders, pejoratives, etc, are not arguments ad hominem.
    For starters, they are not arguments.
    Second, if tweaked into argument form they are found to have reversed the direction of implication from that of an ad hominem argument. (Consider, for illustration, "You are stupid because you made that stupid argument" - fitting the "for any reason" criterion above. That is not only not an ad hominem argument, it is the direct opposite of an ad hominem argument - the direction of implication has been reversed.)

    That (the confusion with personal attack or insult, the reversal of implication) is instead the standard illiteracy behind the characteristic wingnut field mark of misusing "ad hom" etc. It's where the oddity of "ad homs" comes from - obviously slanders and insults can come in batches, so "ad homs" must make sense as well.

    Illustration: "You are too intelligent to post such a simplification unless as a troll or joke, so your argument is invalid and your conclusion is false"
    That is an ad hominem argument. It is not based on a "personal attack".
    In the world of US blue-collar labor , the confusion of ignorance and stupidity is all but universal.
    It's why they hide ignorance, regard anyone claiming expertise as claiming greater intelligence and rightful dominance, have trouble learning new things, and glory in examples of supposedly smart people making mistakes that in their world are dumb.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I beg to differ, but this may simply be due to being on different sides of the pond. I’m not disagreeing that it is an ad hominem... it is. I disagree that it is not based on a “personal attack”. If one only uses the phrase in the case of negative attacks then I would agree, but in my experience a “personal attack”, when used in this context (of discussing ad hominems) is simply any argument against the person (motive, character), Whether negative or positive. In your illustration the attack is with regard a positive trait, but it is still a “personal attack”.
    It’s a relatively minor point of difference, and worth noting, but not one to get hung up on further.
     
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    21,047
    How about this,
    "Because I foolishly feel that your posts lack good will, I will not respond to them"
     

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