argumentum ad hominem
(also known as: association fallacy, bad company fallacy, company that you keep fallacy, they’re not like us fallacy, transfer fallacy)
Description: When the source is viewed negatively because of its association with another person or group who is already viewed negatively.
Person 1 states that Y is true.
Person 2 also states that Y is true, and person 2 is a moron.
Therefore, person 1 must be a moron too.
Delores is a big supporter for equal pay for equal work. This is the same policy that all those extreme feminist groups support. Extremists like Delores should not be taken seriously -- at least politically.
Explanation: Making the assumption that Delores is an extreme feminist simply because she supports a policy that virtually every man and woman also support, is fallacious.
Pol Pot, the Cambodian Maoist revolutionary, was against religion, and he was a very bad man. Frankie is against religion; therefore, Frankie also must be a very bad man.
Explanation: The fact that Pol Pot and Frankie share one particular view does not mean they are identical in other ways unrelated, specifically, being a very bad man. Pol Pot was not a bad man because he was against religion, he was a bad man for his genocidal actions.
Exception: If one can demonstrate that the connection between the two characteristics that were inherited by association is causally linked, or the probability of taking on a characteristic would be high, then it would be valid.
Pol Pot, the Cambodian Maoist revolutionary, was genocidal; therefore, he was a very bad man. Frankie is genocidal; therefore, Frankie must also be a very bad man.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:
Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!
Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.