Don't confuse an argument ad hominem with a personal attack. I don't say you are x, therefore your argument is wrong; I say your arguments are wrong and trivial, and therefore you are X. There is a difference. Ad hominem is a logical fallacy; a personal attack is merely rude.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ken Armstrong
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:42 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot's 4 English drawing room plays
Carrol Cox wrote:
> Nancy, Â consider that your writings and those of other responsible
> critics of Eliot are read by those who introduce Eliot to thousands of
> students, while the maunderings of Ken & Peter, not to speak of cr,
> have utterly no effect on anyoneâ€™s reading of Eliot. In fact my
> occasional references to Eliot on a couple political e-lists reach
> many more people than anything these Katzjammer kids might say here.
> It offers some perspective.
Thanks to Carrol for his usual deft dive to the mucked middle of an
issue: here he aptly illustrates argument ad hominem (not to mention
argument pro hominem). Notice the total lack of judging the issue on its
merits; instead, one judges by the person and his or her effects.
Specifically distilled to its essence, might, not right, makes right.
And for good measure, let's belittle those who disagree. Not exactly
admirable, but timely.