1

If I were in an argument, and my opponent was to use perhaps ad hominem and I caught it and pointed it out, what purpose does it serve? May I dismiss his/her argument or can I only acknowledge it as being fallacious? Is there anything that I can do or is there no point in even flagging their argument.

  • 2
    It depends on the purpose of the argument you are having, and the nature of the opponent. What is that for you? Is it to have fun, to win, to decide something? Does your opponent argue in good faith, does he care about being logical, etc. ? – Conifold Mar 31 '16 at 0:35
  • If it were a formal debate, in this situation, what purpose does it have and what can I do with it? – user20118 Mar 31 '16 at 0:38
  • I have to say that this is probably too far down the "opinion based" road to really fit well with Philosophy.SE. However, my preference is a very sly ab hominem attack, if I may invent such a named attack. "The position I am opposing is so hopelessly futile that the best defense that can be made for it is an ad hominem fallacy like my friend across the isle just made." =) – Cort Ammon Mar 31 '16 at 4:12
  • Regarding your second question asked- if you dismiss the conclusion, you are committing something called the fallacy fallacy (rationalwiki.org/wiki/Fallacy_fallacy) P1: Argument A supports proposition P. P2: Argument A contains a logical fallacy. C1: Proposition P is false. I have run into this fallacy before (either myself or another committing it), but we cannot dismiss a conclusion solely based upon one person's fallacioius logic – Matt Mar 31 '16 at 17:29
  • 1
    So if I can't dismiss it from a fallacy, then what is the point of them? Were they created so that during debates they had a sort of "fair fighting" tone to them? (i.e. to prevent people from insulting one another or blatantly misrepresenting their arguments) – user20118 Apr 1 '16 at 0:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy