Is leveling a charge of hypocrisy an "ad hominem" attack?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by kavika411, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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  2. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #2
    Pretty much. It's not addressing the argument at hand.
     
  3. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #3
    A charge of hypocrisy actually has its own name under the larger branch of ad hominem fallacies. It's called "tu quoque" (which translates to "you too").

    Depending on how it's used, hypocrisy can also be a red herring (and often is).

    Philosophy of logic pays off again. :)
     
  4. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #4
    I've typed this online but have never had the courage to say it in real life. How does one pronounce tu quoque?
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #5
    My philosophy professors have always had different pronunciations, but the two most common ones were: "to-kwo (long 'o' sound)-kwee" and "to-kwo-kway."

    The first one is more common so I think it's the more "standard" version.

    I've always had trouble with this word in particular because I have a desire to pronounce it like I would a French word (which I suppose would sound like 'to-ko-kay').
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #6
    Sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling 'lalalalalala' doesn't translate as well on the internet when you are losing an argument.
     
  7. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #7
    Thanks Calboy :). I've always thought the danger was to have it come out sounding "Too Cocky". I like "to-kwo-kwee". Pronuciation chosen.
     
  8. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #8
    No problem. :)

    Although rereading my post quoted in yours, I realize I made a mistake.

    The more common pronunciation is "to-kwo-kway." Typing too hastily can have its downsides. :eek:

    Either way, you'd be fine.
     
  9. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #9
    To add one more pronunciation to the list, I thought a Latin E was most like the E in "best." too-KWOH-kweh.

    In practice I tend to schwa-ify it, but perhaps my redneck roots are showing.
     
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #10
    No, I think you could be right.

    It's honestly a very frustrating word.

    I'm devolving to French and going with "vous aussi!" :p
     
  11. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #11
    Saint Patrick's Day ended three minutes ago, so you've missed the opportunity to commit a tú chomh maith fallacy for 364 days.
     
  12. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #12
    It depends. If you're calling somebody a thief and they call you a hypocrite, then sure. If you're an outside party and you're calling America a hypocrite for saying ''in the 20th century attacking other countries isn't acceptable'' (which is similar to what has been said by Condi Rice) then it is an appropriate criticism to say ''but you have done this. I agree that it is wrong but I think that it was wrong when you did it, too''.

    Hypocrisy is still wrong, no matter if it is ad hominem or not.
     
  13. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #13
    In most common usage it is still an ad hominem attack, because your "outside party" is rarely neutral.

    I am going to invoke a less inflammatory example, since yours has the likelihood of taking us well off course.

    If a member of the Violet Party accuses the Purple Party of being in the pocket of special interests, then a chorus of allegedly neutral third parties pops out of the woodwork to recite a litany of Violet Party offenses along the same lines, all with the same claim that they only care about the principle of corruption, by any actor. But naturally when the reverse claim is made, these voices are nowhere to be heard. Maybe different voices are heard saying similar things, but this chorus is silent.

    These are almost universally what's come to be known as "concern trolls." The few that aren't are mostly tiresome "a pox on both your houses" sorts who marginalize themselves beyond relevance because they offer only complaints. These and the statistical residue of genuinely naive "neutral" parties are mostly just herded around by concern trolls to serve their political objectives, because they are especially susceptible to believing that concern trolling is sincere.

    The important thing to notice is that it doesn't really matter why any of them does what he does. The end effect is the same: defusing a criticism by saying the criticism is illegitimate unless everyone in the world stops at the same time is ludicrous and serves only to perpetuate the behavior being criticized.

    If one is truly neutral, caring only about the act and not the actor, then one supports criticism of the Purple Party and supports positive change wherever it is proposed, knowing that the Violet Party's turn will come, and they will have narrowed their rhetorical maneuvering room because their own officials' ill-advised choice of words can be read back to them verbatim at that time.
     
  14. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #14
    Well you might have told me earlier. :p

    Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so I guess I can brush off "Usted también." :p
     
  15. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #15
    this would be the correct way to pronounce it in latin. but i am not sure it is also the commonly used pronounciation in english.

    many latin words are now commonly used in a different way.

    for example in
    vice versa the 'vice' part in latin would be more like "veechay" (sounding like you'd pronounce nietzche)
    in situ should be "seetuh", not "situh"

    indeed according to Mirriam-Webster it would be "tü-ˈkwō-kwē", but that's not the way the romans supposedly said it.

    /end of pedantic rant ;)
     
  16. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #16
    it does so! it does so! it does so! it does so! it does so! it does so! you can't tell me different, this is my opinion! don't you oppress me! OPPRESSOR! OPPRESSOR! :mad:


    :D
     
  17. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #17
    I've only ever heard that pronounced "in-SEE-too." Fairly sure it's meant to be a long U. :)
     
  18. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #18
    i suppose you're right (I am not very good with writing pronunciations).
    but my point was more on the see-too vs. si-too (cy-too?). I hear the latter all the time.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    In English, it's "in sityou".

    And to say someone is being hypocritical is not an ad hominem attack, since the charge of hypocrisy is by its nature about an argument offered or a position taken.
     
  20. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #20
    I have to disagree. The charge of hypocrisy avoids addressing the argument or position in favor of attacking the speaker's moral authority to utter it at all. A person can be a hypocrite and yet be dead right.

    The speaker's hypocrisy may be the topic of a different argument altogether, but it applies to the argument at hand only fallaciously.
     

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