Appeal to motive is a pattern of argument which consists in challenging a thesis by calling into question the motives of its proposer. It can be considered as a special case of the ad hominem circumstantial argument. An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem ( Latin: "argument to the man" "argument against the man" As such, this type of argument may be a logical fallacy. A fallacy is a component of an Argument which being demonstrably flawed in its Logic or form renders the argument invalid in whole
A common feature of appeals to motive is that only the possibility of a motive (however small) is shown, without showing the motive actually existed or, if the motive did exist, that the motive played a role in forming the argument and its conclusion. Indeed, it is often assumed that the mere possibility of motive is evidence enough.
- "That website recommended nVidia's graphics chip over ATI's. But they also display nVidia advertising on their site, so they were probably biased in their review. " The thesis in this case is the website's evaluation of the relative merits of the two chips.
- "The only reason why she got the part in that movie is because her husband is the director. " In this case, the thesis is less clear, but could be an assertion that the husband made in regard to his wife's acting ability.
- "The referee comes from the same place as (a sports team), so his refereeing was obviously biased towards them. " In this case, the thesis consists of the referee's rulings.
- Fallacies of relevance. An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem ( Latin: "argument to the man" "argument against the man" Logic and Reasoning. Inside Philosophy. Retrieved on 2008-01-28. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Events 1077 - Walk to Canossa: The Excommunication of Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor is lifted
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