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Archive for Ad Hominem

Poisoning The Well

July 23, 2012 No Comments

Poisoning the well: Telling the audience what to think of a speaker when you’re introducing the speaker (My next guest is notorious for his extremist views about gun control and I’m sure my audience is much too smart to fall for his tricks…)

Definitional Matters, Poisoning the Well

Ad Hominem

July 10, 2012 No Comments

Ad hominem – attack on or appeal to character, arguing “to the man” rather than to the merits of the argument.

Ad Hominem, Definitional Matters
Joe The Plumber “I’m Not Saying…”

Joe The Plumber “I’m Not Saying…”

June 29, 2012 No Comments

An ad from Samuel "Joe The Plumber" Wurzelbacher's campaign against Marcy Kaptur for Ohio's 9th district seat in the House of Representatives. It uses a the technique of distancing the speaker from obvious fallacious claims by qualifying them with the phrase 'I'm not saying that...'

Woman calls Obama an Arab, McCain says he is a “family man”

Woman calls Obama an Arab, McCain says he is a “family man”

June 13, 2012 No Comments

A woman at a town hall style meeting claims Barack Obama is an "Arab." McCain takes the mic to correct her, saying Obama is a 'decent, family man.'

Progress for America – Roberts nomination ad

Progress for America – Roberts nomination ad

May 11, 2011 No Comments

A response to the NARAL ad attacking John Roberts, from Progress for America (a PAC that supported the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush).

Bill O’Reilly – Katrina

Bill O’Reilly – Katrina

May 11, 2011 No Comments

The 'Talking Points' memo from September 2005, during the aftermath of Katrina.

Fox News viewer email
Quasi-Freudian Analysis of Father-hating Atheists and “anti-democratic” “classic tyrant” Barack Obama

Quasi-Freudian Analysis of Father-hating Atheists and “anti-democratic” “classic tyrant” Barack Obama

August 8, 2010 1 Comment

Analysis of Paul Vitz's psychoanalytic argument against Obama:

Are the Sins of the Fatherless the Root of Obama’s Tyranny? Does Obama’s anti-democratic ideology result from his dysfunctional childhood? An intriguing book, Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism, by Paul Vitz, argues this type background is a common precursor to the classic tyrant’s personality. This suggests Barack’s beef with America might result from his own deficient past.

Fake Expert

Fake Expert: A fallacious appeal to authority in which the 'expert' is not an expert at all.

Expert in the wrong domain

Expert in the wrong domain: a fallacious version of an appeal to authority - i.e. appealing to a doctor...

Slippery Slope

Slippery slope: If we take one step, we’ll have to take all the rest of them because there’s no...

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: “After this, therefore because of this”, a fallacy in reasoning about causes. (I took...

Poisoning The Well

Poisoning the well: Telling the audience what to think of a speaker when you’re introducing the speaker (My next...

Loaded Question

Loaded question: A question with an unacceptable pre-supposition. (Why do you hate America so much? – Stephen Colbert)

Fallacies of Relevance

Fallacies of Relevance: Bringing up irrelevant considerations in an effort to distract listener from the merits of the actual...

Guilt By Association

Guilt by Association: You are just the same as X, and X is terrible. Therefore, you’re terrible (the conclusion...

Genetic Fallacy

Genetic fallacy: Saying that some idea’s history or origin (genesis) means it is true/false.

Equivocation

Equivocation: when an argument relies on an ambiguous word (a word with more than one possible meaning), shifting in...

Enthymeme

Enthymeme: general term for an argument with a gap (missing premise)

Confusing Correlation With Causation

Confusing Correlation With Causation: (Buying gas is correlated with owning a car. Clearly, buying gas causes car ownership.)

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: seeing what you believe; interpreting observations/data to match a conclusion you already have in mind.

Undermining Biography

Undermining Biography: sewing seeds of doubt due to questionable background. Also known as ‘swiftboating’.