Short for argumentum ad hominem—argument against the person.
- LW: Fallacies
- Effectiviology: Logical Fallacies: What They Are and How to Counter Them
- Wikipedia: Ad hominem
- RationalWiki: Argumentum ad hominem
- Effectiviology: Ad Hominem: When People Use Personal Attacks in Arguments
- Paul Graham: How to Disagree
- LW: Counterspells
- LW: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ad Hominem
Paul Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement, from How to Disagree:
- “You’re an idiot” (Name calling)
- “Of course he would say that. He’s a senator.” (Ad Hominem)
- “I can’t believe the author dismisses intelligent design in such a cavalier fashion.” (Responding to Tone)
- “I can’t believe the author dismisses intelligent design in such a cavalier fashion. Intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory.” (Contradiction)
- Refuting the Central Point
Insulting one’s character is a common example of a fallacious ad hominem—only when used in place of a genuine argument.