Reconsidering the Ad Hominem: Christopher M. Johnson

Philosophy 84 (2):251-266 (2009)

Abstract

Ad hominem arguments are generally dismissed on the grounds that they are not attempts to engage in rational discourse, but are rather aimed at undermining argument by diverting attention from claims made to assessments of character of persons making claims. The manner of this dismissal however is based upon an unlikely paradigm of rationality: it is based upon the presumption that our intellectual capacities are not as limited as in fact they are, and do not vary as much as they do between rational people. When we understand rationality in terms of intellectual virtues, however, which recognize these limitations and provide for the complexity of our thinking, ad hominem considerations can sometimes be relevant to assessing arguments.

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Citations of this work

Two Types of Debunking Arguments.Peter Königs - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (3):383-402.
Commentary on Patrick Bondy, “Bias in Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments”.Andrew Aberdein - 2016 - Argumentation, Objectivity and Bias: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA), May 18–21, 2016.

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