Circumstantial ad Hominem



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Circumstantial ad Hominem

            Circumstantial ad Hominem is a type of logical fallacy, which is experienced in arguments. In an argument, one party might attack the claim made by another party in the argument, basing on the notion that the party making the argument is biased and only acts out of self-interest. In other cases, one party might attack the argument of another party, basing on aspects of the arguer’s religion, nationality, political stance, and nationality, among others.

Circumstantial ad Hominem represents an error in reasoning called fallacy of relevance. This is because this error mainly occurs in an argument, as one arguer tries to dismiss the relevance of another party in the argument, based on various reasons. This phenomenon is justified as an error of logic. Ideally, the interests or the circumstances surrounding the person making the argument cannot influence the truth or falsity of a claim that is made by any party in the argument. In an argument, one will support their position using various claims. Therefore, this shows that the claims to support a position stand on their own, and is not part of the truth or falsity of the arguer (Walton 101).

The following is an example of circumstantial ad Hominem: “Jim claims that 1+1=2, but that is not true, because he is a Republican.” This therefore, justifies the fact that the political affiliation of a person or any other circumstances surrounding a person does not affect the truth or falsity of their argument. It is therefore, important to study logical fallacies, as this knowledge helps in identifying poor reasoning and understanding why this occurs in arguments.

Works Cited

Walton, Douglas. “Ad Hominem Arguments.” New York: University of Alabama Press, 1998.


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