[vlc-devel] Please don't put attached files into the mailing list messages

Jakob Leben jakob.leben at gmail.com
Fri Jun 11 21:38:57 CEST 2010

2010/6/11 Rémi Denis-Courmont <rem at videolan.org>

> In fact, I am not a bug fan of ad hominem[1] arguments.

Gratuitous verbal abuse or "name-calling" itself is *not* an *argumentum ad
> hominem* or a logical fallacy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy>.
> [...] "You are just an ignorant twit." This is an insult and it is abusive,
> but it is not an argument. Because it is not an argument, it cannot be a
> fallacy [1]

It might be of interest that the ancient Greeks have already acknowledged
the issue of using insults in arguments. However, argument ad hominem was
rigorously embedded in their strict Science of Logic as one of many possible
fallacious arguments. It means that a conclusion is drawn on the basis of
how a person is like, in case when that is unrelated to the matter of the
argument. The judgment about person thus stands on the place of premise,

this person is X (or like X ) -> therefore Y.

However, in the example of judegment about a person that was given by this
discussion thread, the judgement stands on the place of conclusion, like:

his writing is like X -> therefore he is Y ( == stupid ).

Similarily, from the stupidity, which was in that case not an ungrounded
premise, we were able to make further assumption that he (it) might even be
a bot.

As Rémi has pointed out though, It often happens that conclusions are not
grounded enough. And the case at stake might as well be an
over-generalization from a property of a deed, to an essential property of a
person as such. With generalizations we are to be as conservative as
possible, especially because we tend to commit them more often when the
subject of the argument is another person, than ourselves, and thus we move
from Logic into the area of Morality.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
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