Here's a simple dialogue between me and my wife.
Wife: why don't you clean the cup after using it?
Me: I always clean after me whatever I use.
Wife: You're speaking about something else. That wasn't my question.
Now if we examine carefully the 1st wife proposition, one can easily detect it has to be linked to a certain annoyance that has nothing to do with the elements of the current dialogue. The wife associated that annoyance with the introductory fight proposition.
My counter argument, the 2nd one in the dialogue, could be called a counter-argument A' (A prime), as I'm trying to defend the fact I clean always behind me and I'm not in a position to justify why I forgot to do it today. We will see later why it might not be invalid.
The last argument by the wife was indeed a persistence to start a fight but also a total denial of my defensive and justifiable? argument (always cleaning after me).
Now, the above argumentation is encountered frequently during academic or political debates. Not always one of the opponents hears Argument B instead of A, but rather A' instead of A. To be more specific, one opponent says argument A but implicitly says A' in order to weaken or intimidate the other opponent i.e. "Why you didn't clean today?" is mostly associated with "Why are you dirty in general" in the above argumentation context. Hence, once the other opponent hears A', then will create a counter A'. Having said that, we still, once we're out of any arguments in similar debate, we use the pillow argument: "That wasn't my question".
The Fallacy: Is it ethical to use the pillow argument in the case where the opponents are on the same intellect level (author vs author, husband vs wife, republican vs democrat)?
This tactic is always used as a debate warfare: we are always implicitly saying A' but we say A explicitly, hoping to drag our opponent to intimidation, and moreover, we deny invoking A' implicitly (which is not true in general). In my opinion, it's a mere naïve way that shouldn't be abused by opponents on the same intellect level and hence it is a fallacy.
It is a fallacy as we defend the pillow argument to be valid because it agrees with the general rules of logic. But is it so when we are debating on an expert level (equivalent intellect) and where ethics play an important role?
We often hear or read some critiques that generalize every author who commit the count A' by describing them as idiots or imbeciles such as: "This author always hears B while A was said". In case of a child, yes it's a valid critique. But questionable on expert level and hence this paragraph can be an extension to the description above.
What is your opinion on the above description and how can I defend my position if I've been dragged to an such awkward pillow argument. Could it be concretized in terms of fallacy elements?