Ad Hominem

By: Amanda Crowley

Latin, means against the man or against the person.

"A general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author or the person presenting the claim."


An Ad Hominem usually involves two steps:

1. Person A makes a claim

2. Person B makes an attack on Person A's character, thereby discrediting their argument

The result of an Ad Hominem attack is to undermine someone's case without having to engage in it.


Person A: I think vegetarianism should be mandatory to create a healthy generation

Person B: How can you argue about that while enjoying your steak?

Person A: Marketing provides valuable assets for the future.

Person B: Of course you feel that way, you work in marketing.

A benefit to using an Ad Hominem is that you sound witty and reserved by quickly subduing someone's argument with minimal effort.

A challenge when using Ad Hominem is that you can be considered abusive and rough with your attack on the speaker's character.