Pro hominem


Pro hominem

To argue pro hominem is to argue for the person presenting the argument rather than to argue in favor of the argument itself. It is the logical inverse of the ad hominem argument.

A typical pro hominem argument reads like, "X is an honest man, and X says Y, so Y must be true," or "X is an expert on Y, and about Y says Z, so Z must be true."

In formal logic, the pro hominem argument is considered a logical fallacy, but in informal logic, it may be used given proper care and done right.

The core problem with the pro hominem is that it changes the focus of the topic at hand from the argument or discussion to the person presenting the argument. The link between the two is at best very weak and as such, not a good tactic to use except as a kind of "showing off" after one has already clearly won an argument.

The pro hominem argument tactic is often used purposefully to confuse the topic at hand and to elicit an emotional appeal from an audience.

The appeal to authority argument tactic is a special case of the pro hominem argument where the truth of the argument is based on the person presenting it.


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