The paper discusses the nature and functioning of argumentum ad misericordiam, a well-known but less theorised type of argument. A monograph by D. Walton (1997) offers an overview of definitions of misericordia (which he eventually translates as ‘pity’), as well as the careful analysis of several cases. Appeals to pity, Walton concludes, are not necessarily fallacious. This view seems to be supported and further refined by the critical remarks of H. V. Hansen (2000), as well as the recent work of R. H. Kimball (2001, 2004) and A. Aberdein (2016) focusing on the virtue ethical aspects of such arguments. There is, on this account, a difference between ad misericordiam arguments and fallacies, even though the former may be fallacious in some cases. In this paper I argue for a narrower concept of ad misericordiam, as distinguished from the more generic class of appeals to pity, limiting it to cases in which someone asks for the non-application of a certain rule, clearly relevant to their case, with reference to some (unfavourable) circumstance, which is, however, irrelevant for the application of the rule.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
4 razy w roku
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Philosophy, other