[ExI] Striving for Objectivity Across Different Cultures

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Wed Aug 20 16:48:11 UTC 2008

On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 4:36 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> No, that little treatise supports the encyclopedia Britannica version
> I quoted later, without the 'misrepresentation' feature that Diana
> Hsieh added.

I have just checked, and I stand corrected.

"Confutations... can be... a) ad rem b) ad hominem or ex concessis
[meaning: arguing not from an "objective" truth, but from what is
conceded by your opponent to be true]".

And much later: "When you realise that your opponent is stronger and
you will end up losing the discussion, let you become abusive,
insulting, rude so that it be possible to shift from the subject
matter to a personal quarrel with your opponent and to an attack
against him personally. We could call it argumentum ad personam, and
is distinct from the argomentum ad hominem".

(The quick & approximate translation is mine).

Yet, it remains the case that everyday usage of the two expression is
at least in my experience bizarrely reversed... :-/

Stefano Vaj

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