Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chomsky's Trust

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.

1 comment:

  1. Although as you've mentioned, Chomsky would also be subject to the same measures he is proposing, I find the antagonism between Chomsky's words and actions (investing in oil companies, military contractors, etc) quite discouraging.

    I'm currently reading a book by Tolstoy on non-violence and am reminded of how illogical and hypocritical it is to set about ridding the world of non-violence through violent means. It likewise makes no sense to me for Chomsky to support (through monetary investment in this particular case) the very thing he strives against.

    I would also like to thank you for important posts such as these Stephen, which bring fallacies into focus and aid your readers in developing critical reading/thinking skills.

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