ERIC Number: ED212004
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Implicit Ad Hominem Fallacy: Nonverbal Displays of Status in Argumentative Discourse.
Remland, Martin S.
Nonverbal displays of status are often employed in argumentative interactions for the purpose of securing an advantage over an opposing speaker. These displays can be conceptualized as "implicit ad hominem fallacies" because, like all ad hominem arguments, they shift the focus of attention away from the substantive issues in dispute to the individuals involved. The fallacy is most evident when nonverbal displays of status are used as a substitute for reason and when they are directed toward an opposing speaker. An attempt is made by the guilty party to belittle nonverbally the physical or intellectual presence of an adversary. For example, in a superior/subordinate interaction at work, the superior may use spatial intrusions, such as moving close, staring, talking loudly, pointing, or touching, to communicate dominance over the subordinate. (A taxonomy is presented for classifying the various types of implicit ad hominems and for considering the significance of these unobtrusive behaviors as a means of avoiding logical argument in face-to-face disputes.) (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Interpersonal Communication