Falacia ad hominem

Ad hominem means “against the man,” and this type of fallacy is sometimes called name calling or the personal attack fallacy. An ad hominem fallacy occurs when someone attacks the person instead of attacking his or her argument. This approach can act as a method of discrediting an opponent or simply deflecting or avoiding the actual topic of discussion.

In our comic, you’ll find an example of an ad hominem fallacy being used to derail a debate.

A comic about ad hominem.

Transcripción de imágenes
Panel One:
Title Card: Captain Logic gets personal with Doctor Fallacy in… Ad Hominem!

Panel Two:
Caption: Debate Club Meeting
Scene: A high school. A debate between two students is being moderated by the villainously costumed owl Doctor Fallacy.
Student #1: …we only have the traditional school calendar because children needed to help harvest crops.

Panel Three:
Student #1: In conclusion, it would be better for society if school were in session year-round.
Doctor Fallacy: Hmm. Rebuttal?

Panel Four:
The second student stands up and gestures dramatically at the first student’s sneakers.
Student #2: My rebuttal is… what are those?
Student #1: Huh?
Doctor Fallacy: Fascinating.

Panel Five:
A close-up of the student’s sneakers. They’re normal if a little bland.
Student #2: How can we take anything you say seriously with those terrible sneakers?

Panel Six:
Doctor Fallacy: Very convincing! You win the debate.
Student #1: What!?

Panel Seven:
The heroic Captain Logic bursts into the room wearing his orange-and-purple hero costume.
Captain Logic: Halt! That’s an ad hominem attack and you know it, Doctor Fallacy!
Doctor Fallacy: Ugh. This guy again.

Panel Eight:
Captain Logic: Personal attacks don’t disprove an argument!
Doctor Fallacy: Yeah? Well, your color scheme sucks.

Panel Nine:
As Captain Logic and Doctor Fallacy argue, the two students huddle together.
Student #1: Um, why do we have costumed owls for teachers?
Student #2: Budget cuts.

For a screen reader compatible slideshow version of the comic, please click through the below images:

When we attack the person instead of tackling the issue, our audience might think we don’t understand what’s being discussed or can’t disprove our opponent’s view. It’s better to stick to the issue at hand and avoid confusing the person with their point of view.

Quejarse... Aplaudir... Por favor, ¡dé su opinión!