March 23, 2004


Ron Hardin

As you and all people with a decent historical sense know, but it's worth pointing out, an ad hominem argument is one that flatters or appeals to the interests of the listener; somehow it became an attack on somebody, for the rabble media.

An attack would be contra hominem. ``ad'' is ``to.''

Tristram Shandy:

> Your son,--your dear son,--from whose sweet and open temper you have so much to expect.-- Your Billy, Sir!--would you, for the world, have called him Judas?--Would you, my dear Sir, he would say, laying his hand upon your breast, with the genteelest address,--and in that soft and irresistible piano of voice, which the nature of the argumentum === ad hominem === absolutely requires,--Would you, Sir, if a Jew of a godfather had proposed the name for your child, and offered you his purse along with it, would you have consented to such a desecration of him?--O my God! he would say, looking up, if I know your temper right, Sir,--you are incapable of it;--you would have trampled upon the offer;--you would have thrown the temptation at the tempter's head with abhorrence.''

Some Baptist writing no longer on the web:

> I came back at this professor with an argumentum === ad hominem ===, "Is it true," said I, "that the more knowledge your wife has of you, the less faith she has in you?

Ron Hardin

I had to laugh when Jonathan Alter came on Imus at 6:30 and began a 10-minute charge that Bush was trashing Clarke just like Bush trashes every critic. I wonder if Limbaugh will have audio clips from a thousand sources of the same talking point. It may be worth listening today.

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