I know it's a latin phrase and maybe it doesn't belong here. But two of my friends are having an argument and one of my friends, who is the head of some committee said "At least try and then complain"(try becoming the head of the committee, doing my job and then complain) to my second friend who said that she is not doing her duties well enough. A third person who is a spectator to this argument pointed out that what the first person said is an Ad-Hominem. I don't think it's an Ad-hominem, could someone weigh in on this?

  • Either way, lower case 'a' and no hyphen required.
    – Ash
    May 5, 2017 at 3:47

1 Answer 1


I would say that it is an ad hominem. An ad hominem argument is when you instead of addressing the topic in question are trying to win the argument by making comments about your opponent's physical appearance, personal history, professional experience and other things of that nature.

What makes your particular case an ad hominem is the fact that the head of the committee instead of actually addressing your friend's point started talking about how your friend would not be able to run the committee were he to head it. He is clearly trying to sidetrack the conversation by pointing out the fact that your friend does not know what he is talking about because he has never worked in that position. So, he is making a reference to your friend's personal qualities and abilities which, strictly speaking, has really nothing to do with the real meat of the question that has been posed. But hey, that's one big fat argumentum ad hominem right there, as far as its definition is concerned.

Here's some additional information worth noting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2OnY4d_1Is


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