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:: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 ::

Defining Some Argumentation Fallacies:

Though argumentation fallacies are a subject that has been covered many times at Rerum Novarum (and will continue to be) it is not often that one finds themselves defining argumentation fallacies that have rarely been explicitly explained before. Nonetheless, here are a few that have been circulating in the blogosphere as of late:

argumentum ad aevum

If my Latin is correct here (and it may need tweaking) this is "argument to age" or claiming an authority for one's position due to being older and thus (presumably) via greater experience having the edge in argumentation. This could also be said to embrace another logical fallacy which I will now give a name to and it is this:

argumentum ad eventus

This is a variation of argumentum ad aevum and involves essentially the idea that an argument is not valid on the basis of lacking experience is what this one entails. It is akin to saying that no one can talk about a subject unless they have experience in it; ergo someone who has never abused heroin can never be credible in talking about heroin usage. Or on the ecclesial front, Pope Benedict XVI can never talk about a subject like sex because he has presumably never had any.

I am shocked that even otherwise intelligent people fall for this kind of "logic" but it happens often. At bottom, either what someone says in presenting an argument for a viewpoint has merits or demerits on the strength or lack thereof of the arguments made. That is where any and all criticisms of someone's arguments should lie, not on argumentation fallacies{1} such as the ones noted above.


{1} The above examples would fall under a classification of arguments that are fallacious even if valid rather than fallacious even if invalid: a distinction with a difference.

:: Shawn 2:16 PM [+] ::


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