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Appeal To Wealth (argumentum ad crumenam)

October 8th, 2009

Appeal To Wealth ( argumentum ad crumenam )

classification : informal – appeals to motives in place of support

The fallacy is committed by any argument that assumes that someone or something is better simply because they are wealthier or more expensive.

Foundations

Wealth need not be associated with all that is good, and all that is good need not be associated with wealth.

Examples

My computer cost more than yours. Therefore, my computer is better than yours.

The Mercedes is probably not responsible for the accident with the Toyota, because it is so much more expensive and the driver is motivated to be careful to protect his property from even the slightest scratch, much less a collision.

Other Names

argumentum ad crumenam

argumentum ad lazarum

Note: The opposite of the appeal to wealth is the appeal to poverty. They both use the material value of something to imply its merit – that something is expensive might either implicate it or exonerate it.

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Categories: Logic