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Philosophic Thoughts

Essays on Logic and Philosophy

Series:

Gary James Jason

Philosophic Thoughts: Essays on Logic and Philosophy comprises a collection of essays on logic and philosophy. The first section features essays that address issues in informal logic, such as the question of whether fallacies are common and the nature of the ad baculum and ad hominem fallacies. The section also includes essays on formal dialogue logic and its applications in computer science. The second section contains articles on epistemology and philosophy of science, including issues surrounding induction, the role of error in computer science, the relation of science to common sense, and the concept of discovery. The third section features ethical issues – from the sketching out of an ethical theory to the discussion of a variety of ethical issues, such as the ethics of organ sales, tort reform, free trade, and computer ethics. The final section includes essays on a number of miscellaneous issues, such as using thought experiments to teach philosophy, the soul-making defense against the problem of free will, and the limitations of postmodern philosophy.
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13. “Does Virtue Epistemology Provide a Better Account of the Ad Hominem Argument? A Reply to Christopher Johnson”

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13

“Does Virtue Epistemology Provide a Better Account of the Ad Hominem Argument? A Reply to Christopher Johnson”

first appeared in Philosophy 84 (2009), pp. 251–266

Abstract: Christopher Johnson has put forward in this journal the view that ad hominem reasoning may be more generally reasonable than is allowed by writers such as myself, basing his view on virtue epistemology. I review his account, as well as the standard account, of ad hominem reasoning, and show how the standard account would handle the cases he sketches in defence of his own view. I then give four criticisms of his view generally: the problems of virtue conflict, vagueness, conflation of speech acts, and self-defeating counsel. I then discuss four reasons why the standard account is superior: it better fits legal reality, the account of other fallacies, psychological science, and political reality.

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