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Appeal To Spite

October 8th, 2009

Taxonomy – Where am I?

Appeal To Spite (argumentum ad odium)

classification : informal – red herring – emotional appeal

The Appeal to Spite Fallacy is a fallacy in which spite is substituted for evidence when an “argument” is made against a claim. They attempt to elicit an emotional response that will serve as the basis of any decision made, instead of presenting an argument and relying on its soundness.

Foundations

This sort of reasoning is fallacious because a feeling of spite does not count as evidence for, or against, a claim. Appeal to spite should not be confused with fallacious ad hominem arguments which attack the people or groups associated with a particular view or belief in an attempt to discredit it.

Examples

Bill claims that the earth revolves around the sun. But remember that dirty trick he pulled on you last week. Now, doesn’t my claim that the sun revolves around the earth make sense to you?

“If you vote for this tax cut, it will mean that the fat cats will get even more money to spend on their expensive luxury yachts, while you and I keep struggling to pay the bills.”

Other Names

Argumentum ad odium

Appeal to emotion

Cutting off the nose to spite the face

Categories: Logic
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