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Tu quoque Argument

September 25th, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Tu quoque Argument

classification : informal – red herring – two wrongs make a right

attempts to discredit the opponent’s position by asserting his failure to act consistently in accordance with that position; it attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it.

Foundations

It is considered an ad hominem argument, since it focuses on the party itself, rather than its positions. In many cases tu quoque arguments are used in a logically fallacious way, to draw a conclusion which is not supported by the premises of the argument.

Examples

He cannot accuse me of libel because he was just successfully sued for libel.

You say aircraft are able to fly because of the laws of physics, but this is false because twenty years ago you also said aircraft fly because of magic.

Other Names

Argumentum ad Hominem

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Pot calling the kettle black

Categories: Logic
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