Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 12, 2012, 1:24 p.m. EST by BannedForTruth
from Christiana, TN
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Examples of Abusive ad hominem:
"You can't believe John when he says the proposed policy would help the economy. He doesn't even have a job."
"Candidate Jane's proposal about zoning is ridiculous. She was caught cheating on her taxes in 2003."
"What would Mary know about fixing cars? She is a woman." (an example of Ad feminam)
An abusive ad hominem can apply to a judgment of cultural works or academic efforts based on the behavior or unconventional political beliefs of an artist, author, or musician, or the taste of an infamous person who loved a certain work.
Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose, so his music was worthless.
Leni Riefenstahl was a Nazi, so her film The Triumph of the Will is devoid of merit.
Sylvia Plath was a depressive who eventually committed suicide, so her works are unreadable.
What Ted Kaczynski wrote about boundary conditions in mathematics is shown false due to his crimes.
Circumstantial Ad hominem
Ad hominem circumstantial points out that someone is in circumstances such that he is disposed to take a particular position. Ad hominem circumstantial constitutes an attack on the bias of a source. This is fallacious because a disposition to make a certain argument does not make the argument false; this overlaps with the genetic fallacy (an argument that a claim is incorrect due to its source).
The circumstantial fallacy applies only where the source taking a position is only making a logical argument from premises that are generally accepted. Where the source seeks to convince an audience of the truth of a premise by a claim of authority or by personal observation, observation of their circumstances may reduce the evidentiary weight of the claims, sometimes to zero.
Mandy Rice-Davies's famous testimony during the Profumo Affair, "Well, he would [say that], wouldn't he?", is an example of a valid circumstantial argument. Her point was that a man in a prominent position, accused of an affair with a callgirl, would deny the claim whether it was true or false. His denial, in itself, carries little evidential weight against the claim of an affair. Note, however, that this argument is valid only insofar as it devalues the denial; it does not bolster the original claim. To construe evidentiary invalidation of the denial as evidentiary validation of the original claim is fallacious (on several different bases, including that of argumentum ad hominem); however likely the man in question would be to deny an affair that did in fact happen, he could only be more likely to deny an affair that never did.
Conflict of Interest: Where a source seeks to convince by a claim of authority or by personal observation, identification of conflicts of interest are not ad hominem – it is generally well accepted that an "authority" needs to be objective and impartial, and that an audience can only evaluate information from a source if they know about conflicts of interest that may affect the objectivity of the source. Identification of a conflict of interest is appropriate, and concealment of a conflict of interest is a problem.
Feel free to post your own examples!!!