14.0036 applause for argumenta ad risum

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Sat May 27 2000 - 08:29:01 CUT

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                    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" <margryan@earthlink.net>
             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 <humanist@kcl.ac.uk>
    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
    > <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>
    > <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>
    > Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 22:58:35 +0000
    > From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
    > 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
    to x,
    > what kind of message are we sending out to the youth of America?
    > 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
    > side.
    > 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
    > each.
    > 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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