Searching for the Roots of the Circumstantial Ad Hominem

  title={Searching for the Roots of the Circumstantial Ad Hominem},
  author={Douglas Walton},
  • D. Walton
  • Published 2001
  • Philosophy
  • Argumentation
This paper looks into the known evidence on the origins of the type of argument called the circumstantial ad hominemargument in modern logic textbooks, and introduces some new evidence. This new evidence comes primarily from recent historical work by Jaap Mansfeld and Jonathan Barnes citing many cases where philosophers in the ancient world were attacked on the grounds that their personal actions failed to be consistent with their philosophical teachings. On the total body of evidence, two… Expand
Argumentation Schemes and Historical Origins of the Circumstantial Ad Hominem Argument
There are two views of the ad hominem argument found in the textbooks and other traditional treatments of this argument, the Lockean or ex concessis view and the view of ad hominem as personalExpand
Felicity Conditions For The Circumstantial ad Hominem
In popular usage and many textbooks on reasoning, the argument ad hominem is defined as a personal attack on one’s opponent, which is a distraction from the real issues at hand. Because it is aExpand
Felicity Conditions for the Circumstantial Ad Hominem : The Case of Bush v. Gore
The circumstantial ad hominem, unlike the abusive variety, attacks a particular person by showing that his or her argument is inconsistent with his or her prior positions or circumstances. TheExpand
Take My Advice—I Am Not Following It: Ad Hominem Arguments as Legitimate Rebuttals to Appeals to Authority
In this paper, I argue that ad hominem arguments are not always fallacious. More explicitly, in certain cases of practical reasoning, the circumstances of a person are relevant to whether or not theExpand
Strategies of Character Attack
Why are personal attacks so powerful? In political debates, speeches, discussions and campaigns, negative character judgments, aggressive charges and charged epithets are used for different purposes.Expand
Pre-election TV debates – persuasive games between ethos, logos, and pathos
This article presents argumentation in pre-electoral TV debates. Three debate cycles are analyzed – in Poland (2010), Great Britain (2010), and the United States (2008). They represent an example ofExpand
L’argument ad hominem dans les débats présidentiels Bush/Kerry
« Croyez-vous que vous pourriez faire mieux que le President Bush pour eviter une nouvelle attaque du 11 septembre sur les Etats-Unis ? » C’est par cette question, adressee au senateur Kerry, que leExpand
Ideology, hegemony and HIV/AIDS : the appropriation of indigenous and global spheres.
ions; secondary level constructions are largely descriptive; whilst tertiary level constructions involve justification through masking and co-opting ideas with the purpose of fostering expansion.Expand
Identification of Informal Reasoning Fallacies as a Function of Epistemological Level, Grade Level, and Cognitive Ability.
Informal reasoning fallacies are violations of critical discussion norms. As epistemological understanding of knowledge justification appears to underlie the informal reasoning skills of argumentExpand


Ad Hominem Arguments
Essential to an understanding of argumentation and logic, Ad Hominem Arguments is a vital contribution to legal theory and media and civic discourse. In the 1860s, northern newspapers attackedExpand
It's All Very Well for You to Talk! Situationally Disqualifying Ad Hominem Attacks
The situationally disqualifying ad hominem attack is an argumentative move in critical dialogue whereby one participant points out certain features in his adversary's personal situation that areExpand
Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination
Beyond his own country Francis Bacon is remembered as a great man, founder of modern science and philosophy, a just judge and a teacher of kings. In England and America, however, he is more commonlyExpand
Hypocrisy and Integrity: Machiavelli, Rousseau, and the Ethics of Politics
Arguing that hypocrisy can be constructive and that strictly principled behaviour can be destructive, this book explores the full range of ethical alternatives, distinguishing the various types ofExpand
Logic and the Imperial Stoa
An account of the role and the nature of logic in imperial stoic philosophy which challenges the prevailing orthodoxy and presents a novel interpretation of this crucial period of ancient philosophy.
A concise introduction to logic
Part I: INFORMAL LOGIC. 1. Basic Concepts. Arguments, Premises, and Conclusions. Exercise. Recognizing Arguments. Exercise. Deduction and Induction. Exercise. Validity, Truth, Soundness, Strength,Expand
On the Fourfold Root of the Argumentum Ad Hominem
  • Empirical Logic and Public Debate
  • 1993