Caveat Audiens ("Let the Listener Beware")
Doloff, Steven, The Humanist
The Romans had a word for it. In fact, classical critics coined many terms to identify the logical errors and verbal evasions that sullied public debate. Consider: argumentum ad hominem ("argument against the person"), attacking an opponent's character instead of addressing the issue under discussion; petitio principii ("begging the question"), asking a question which assumes an unproven point; and post hoc, ergo propter hoc ("after this, therefore because of this") asserting that, simply because one event followed, another, the former caused the latter.
Public discourse in our own day would seem to invite the creation of a few more terms like these to point out hybrids of the traditional logical …
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Publication information: Article title: Caveat Audiens ("Let the Listener Beware"). Contributors: Doloff, Steven - Author. Magazine title: The Humanist. Volume: 57. Issue: 1 Publication date: January-February 1997. Page number: 4+. © 1999 American Humanist Association. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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