Tuesday, June 16, 2009
the circumstantial ad hominem fallacy
•Psychoanalyzing people is not a substitute for considering the reasons that people give for what they believe. If you think that no reasonable person would ordinarily be persuaded by certain arguments, then you might find a psychological explanation for why people believe what they do. But this psychological explanation does not provide any reason to reject the arguments or the claim. Using psychological explanations as a refutation is to commit the circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.