Reductio ad Hitlerum

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Reductio ad Hitlerum is a logical fallacy invented by Leo Strauss, a philosopher, in 1951.[1][2] It happens when someone compares their opponent's view with Hitler or something that he did.[3]

It is a form of ad hominem, distracting from the argument by criticizing the opponent. It works because in the modern world, people think of Nazism as a bad thing.[4]

During the 2016 US Presidential Election, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump has been repeatedly compared to Hitler by commentators and comedians.[5][6]

An example is as follows:

  • Person 1 suggests that X is true.
  • Person 2 says that Hitler said that too, and so X is not true.

As person 2 has criticized the opponent as opposed to the argument by comparing them to Hitler without giving any reasons as to why X is not true, they have committed reductio ad Hitlerum.

References[change | change source]

  1. Measure: A Critical Journal - Robert Maynard Hutchins - Google Livres. H. Regnery Company. 1951. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
  2. John Glad (June 9, 2004). "History, Eugenics, And The Jews" (October 6, 2014 ed.). The Jewish Press.
  3. Curtis, Gary N. (2004). "Logical Fallacy: Guilt by Association". Fallacy Files. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  4. Curtis, Gary N. (2004). "Logical Fallacy: The Hitler Card". Fallacy Files. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  5. Zumberge, Marianne; Zumberge, Marianne (5 March 2016). "Louis C.K. Compares Donald Trump to Hitler: 'He's an Insane Bigot'".
  6. "Trump-Hitler Comparisons This Weekend". 6 March 2016.