Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Poisoning the Well

Doing some random research for a late night piece of work I came across an old friend of mine:Poisoning the Well. This fallacy is the pre-emptive strike of argumentation - or the "booby-trapping of arguments".

By poisoning the well you predisposition your audience towards your opponent by foreseeing what he will say and interpret it beforehand:

"As son of a rich man he will of course resist our reforms out of fear of losing his privileges".

This is a pretty wide-spread argument when it comes to discussions on security-issues it seems to me - it serves to demonise the enemy.


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