Tu Quoque, The Fallacy of

(“You, too”; “same to you”)

A class of argument which dismisses the other person’s position on the grounds that his behaviour contradicts it, or is no better than that of the person whose behaviour he is criticising.

This fallacy leads into sterile altercation, a grim and noisy dead end, from which it can be hard to escape. It is slightly broader than the Fallacy of Hypocrisy because it does not need to show that the critic’s own failures have any relevance to the argument, and it is summarised in responses such as “same to you”, “you’re no better”, “how can you talk?”, “it’s a bit rich”, and “well, what about your. . . ?”.

Don’t go there.T44


Related entries:

Distraction, Ad Hominem.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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