Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 36.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 09:13:48 +0100
From: "Margaret Ryan" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: 12.0366 argumenta ad risum
How wonderful! I often search for a succinct way of saying what the f____
is wrong with this line of thinking. This is a gold mine. Heartfelt Thanks!
----- Original Message -----
From: Humanist Discussion Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Humanist Discussion Group <humanist@lists.Princeton.EDU>
Sent: Monday, January 25, 1999 4:01 PM
> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 366.
> Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
> Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 22:58:35 +0000
> From: Jim Marchand <email@example.com>
> Subject: argumenta
> Having received a large number (2) of private requests for the list of
> argumenta, I thought I might send it to the whole list. Be prepared to use
> the delete button.
> This is a handout for a privatissimum on argumentation. It is mostly based
> on my misspent Tennessee youth, where we had to learn them in "forensics".
> They are useful for watching congressional debates. In fact, I add a new
> one: argumentum ad nuntium `argument to the message'. If we x or fail
> what kind of message are we sending out to the youth of America?
> INTERESTING NAMES FOR INTERESTING FALLACIES
> The Argumenta. Many of the material fallacies have fancy medieval names
> beginning with argumentum ad ... They are all arguments not to the thing,
> not argumenta ad rem, but to something other than the matter being debated.
> argumentum ad baculum - argument to the stick - appeal to force.
> argumentum ad crumenam - argument to the purse - appeal to money.
> argumentum ad hominem - argument to the man.
> argumentum ad misericordiam - appeal to pity.
> argumentum ad ignorantiam - argument to ignorance - use of information
> either unknown or to which the other cannot be privy.
> argumentum ad verecundiam - argument to awe or custom.
> argumentum ad populum - argument to the populace, sometimes called
> argumentum ad captandum vulgus - argument to capture the vulgar mass.
> argumentum ad judicem - argument to the judge - getting on the judge's good
> ipse dixit - he himself said - appeal to authority.
> tu quoque - you (did it) too - two wrongs don't make a right.
> non sequitur - it does not follow - irrelevant argument.
> Note that new argumenta occur over and over again and are ad hoc(ked) on
> the spur of the moment.
> argumentum ad hoc - ad hoc argument - argument made up to cover only the
> particular case at hand.
> argumentum ad convenientiam - argument to convenience - if we did x we
> could not do y.
> a fortiori - if x, all the more y.
> argumentum a contrario - argument from the contrary - used in general to
> indicate a
> contradictio in adjecto - a self-contradictory argument - e. g. "all
> generalizations are false."
> cui bono? - to what good - the "So what?" argument
> argumentum ad exemplum - argument to the example - arguing against a
> particular example cited rather than the question itself. Extremely
> common at scholarly meetings.
> cadit quaestio - the question falls - poorly posed question.
> argumentum ad veritatem obfuscandam - obfuscatory argument - bringing up
> multiple irrelevant arguments.
> accident - arguing from the general to the specific without taking into
> consideration extenuating circumstances.
> converse accident - hasty generalization.
> non causa pro causa - a common medieval locution for
> post hoc ergo propter hoc - arguing that one thing is the cause of another
> merely on he basis of temporal sequence.
> petitio principii - question begging argument, a mere restatement of the
> argument in other terms, sometimes called
> circulus vitiosus or argumentum in circulo
> complex question - two things asked at once, the request to the judge being
> to "split the question."
> ignoratio elenchi - irrelevant conclusion - coming to a conclusion other
> than that proposed or ignoring extenuating circumstances.
> equivocatio - using a word sometimes in one meaning, sometimes in another.
> amphiboly - making use of an ambiguous grammatical construction.
> accent - changing the original emphasis - also frequently applied to the
> misuse of words unfamiliar to the audience. "Some dogs are spotted;
> my dog is spotted; my dog is SOME dog."
> composition - arguing from each to all.
> division - what is true of the whole is true of each of the parts - all to
> Also usable: arriere pensee, bromide, captious, chicanery, casuistry,
> cavil, cum grano salis, gullible, lapsus calami, lapsus linguae, logic-
> chopping, logomachy, malapropos, parthian shot, pecksniffery, pettifog,
> quibble, retort courteous (As You Like It).
> It is interesting to make up new ones, along the lines of scholasticism:
> argumentum ad lunam - (commonly heard these days) "It looks like a country
> which could put a man on the moon could ..."
> I warn you that these are dangerous. In our non-Latin-speaking world, you
> can win an argument by saying, "I see that the learned gentleman is making
> use of the argumentum more Luciae," or the argumentum ad nonnisi ad
> nauseam, or some such. I leave you with the argumentum ad meridiem. An
> American is admiring the marvelous paintings in the metro in Moscow. After
> a while, he remarks to his host: "I haven't noticed any trains coming
> through," which elicits the answer: "Oh yeah? How about the South?"
> Jim Marchand.
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