The disguised abusive ad hominem empirically investigated: Strategic manoeuvring with direct personal attacks
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Thinking and Reasoning 18 (3):344 - 364 (2012)
The main finding of a comprehensive empirical research project on the intersubjective acceptability of the pragma-dialectical discussion rules (Van Eemeren, Garssen & Meuffels, 2009) is that ordinary language users judge discussion moves that are considered fallacious from an argumentation-theoretical perspective as unreasonable. In light of this finding it is remarkable that in everyday argumentative discourse fallacies occur regularly and seem many times not to be noticed by the participants in the discourse. This also goes for the abusive argumentum ad hominem. While abusive ad hominem attacks are judged to be very unreasonable discussion moves when the unreasonableness of clear cases of this fallacy is rated in experiments, in real life this fallacy remains undetected more often than not. In this paper it is argued that this paradox can be explained by analysing abusive ad hominem attacks as a mode of strategic manoeuvring which takes on a reasonable appearance in real life situations when it mimics, as it often does, legitimate critical reactions to authority argumentation. The hypothesis that abusive fallacies are seen as less unreasonable when they are presented as if they are critical questions pertaining to the argument scheme for authority argumentation than when they are clear cases was tested systematically in two experiments. The results of these experiments confirmed the hypothesis.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Adam Corner & Ulrike Hahn (2013). Normative Theories of Argumentation: Are Some Norms Better Than Others? Synthese 190 (16):3579-3610.
Frans H. Van Eemeren (2016). Identifying Argumentative Patterns: A Vital Step in the Development of Pragma-Dialectics. Argumentation 30 (1):1-23.
Similar books and articles
Frans van Eemeren, Bart Garssen & Bert Meuffels (2012). Effectiveness Through Reasonableness Preliminary Steps to Pragma-Dialectical Effectiveness Research. Argumentation 26 (1):33-53.
Frans H. Eemeren, Bart Garssen & Bert Meuffels (2012). Effectiveness Through Reasonableness Preliminary Steps to Pragma-Dialectical Effectiveness Research. Argumentation 26 (1):33-53.
Frans H. van Eemeren & Peter Houtlosser (2003). The Development of the Pragma-Dialectical Approach to Argumentation. Argumentation 17 (4):387-403.
Audrey Yap (2013). Ad Hominem Fallacies, Bias, and Testimony. Argumentation 27 (2):97-109.
Frans H. Eemeren (2012). The Pragma-Dialectical Theory Under Discussion. Argumentation 26 (4):439-457.
Dale Hample (2010). Frans van Eemeren, Bart Garssen, & Bert Meuffels: Fallacies and Judgments of Reasonableness: Empirical Research Concerning the Pragma-Dialectical Discussion Rules. Argumentation 24 (3):375-381.
Graciela Marta Chichi (2002). The Greek Roots of the Ad Hominem-Argument. Argumentation 16 (3):333-348.
Frans van Eemeren (2011). In Context. Argumentation 25 (2):141-161.
Fabrizio Macagno (2013). Strategies of Character Attack. Argumentation 27 (4):1-33.
Christopher A. Pynes (2012). Ad Hominem Arguments and Intelligent Design: Reply to Koperski. Zygon 47 (2):289-297.
D. N. Walton (2004). Argumentation Schemes and Historical Origins of the Circumstantial Ad Hominem Argument. Argumentation 18 (3):359-368.
Moti Mizrahi (2010). Take My Advice—I Am Not Following It: Ad Hominem Arguments as Legitimate Rebuttals to Appeals to Authority. Informal Logic 30 (4):435-456.
Frans H. Eemeren (2013). In What Sense Do Modern Argumentation Theories Relate to Aristotle? The Case of Pragma-Dialectics. Argumentation 27 (1):49-70.
Joel M. Buenting (2005). The Rejection of Testimony and the Normative Recommendation of Non-Fallacious 'Ad Hominem' Arguments Based on Hume's 'Of Miracles' and Canadian Law. Auslegung 27 (2):1 - 16.
Added to index2012-06-13
Total downloads19 ( #190,141 of 1,793,095 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #137,784 of 1,793,095 )
How can I increase my downloads?