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Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Oct 19, 2005

Re: The Branding of the World's Top Intellectual: Noam Chomsky

This article is a rather straightforward (and fairly boring) instance of the logical fallacy known as Ad Hominem Tu Quoque.

"For example, when one is arguing 'Jack is a murderer', Jack or Jack's defendent says 'You're a murderer too'. The response is only blaming the claimer for the same thing he/she did as well. This doesn't refute the fact Jack is a murderer, but only draws away the attention by involving another person." More here.

It is worth noting that, if the measures proposed by Chomsky are accepted, that Chomsky would then be subject to the same conditions as everyone else. So Chomsky is in fact willing to give up the advantages gained by having a trust, but rather than take unilateral action (which is not in any way entailed by his position) is lobbying in such a way as to change the law to reflect this.

Presumably the author of this article knows that this is an old and tired fallacy, a well-worn version of the old saw that "socialists must be poor", one that has no grounding in logic or reason, and reflects, therefore, yet another instance of sleazy argumentation on TCS.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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