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Talk:Tone argument

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I think it should be mentioned that the tone argument is also highly racialized. 24.218.58.25 06:23, November 12, 2010 (UTC)

this page is the first hit on google for Tone Argument. as tone arguments are used in many contexts (racism, ableism), the intro sentences could use a more encompassing term than "feminists". I don't know what term to use as yet. -- Shiny

"social justice activists"? "marginalised people"? "oppressed people"? There's probably no single best term because there will be people who won't identify as that, but those are some possibilities. Thayvian 02:21, September 28, 2011 (UTC)

I like this page, but would it be worth adding that asking for civility is not always a negative trait nor is it always a tactic in a discussion? I'd like to think that civility is not only the best way to convince the other side but by far the best way to convince those in the middle. If being asked to speak calmly is taken as a hostile tactic then you'd always end up with a shouting match, am I wrong in thinking that?216.231.38.62 18:03, June 18, 2012 (UTC)

I've added a section to the article that addresses this. Monadic 03:56, June 19, 2012 (UTC)

I'm compiling a list of logical fallacies and common examples of their use. I came across this page for tone arguments, and I think it is misleading, as it omits the key part of what makes a tone argument a logical fallacy. A tone argument is fallacious because it suggests that a person's tone invalidates their argument. This page doesn't really make that explicit. It's the non sequtiur, that the tone of the person presenting an idea makes it valid, that is the key part of a tone argument logical fallacy.

I hope somebody can find a way to work this into the article since it is the first thing that pops up on google. Thanks. Androfish (talk) 19:23, August 27, 2012 (UTC)

That's a good point. I tried to address it in my last edit. Take a look and let me know what you think; or feel free to edit the article yourself if you like, since you seem to understand the concept. Monadic (talk) 20:59, August 27, 2012 (UTC)
I would rather leave the editing up to somebody more involved with this wiki. Because the page needs major revision I think. It is confusing "red herrings" with tone arguments. A red herring on the subject of tone isn't necessarily a tone argument fallacy, unless the it involves a claim that the tone invalidates the claim/idea. For example, somebody saying they won't listen to you unless you're polite, is changing the subject to tone, but it isn't a tone argument fallacy, it's a red herring. A statement like "people who're right don't have to be rude to make a point" would be a tone argument because it suggests that there's a link between the tactfulness of the presenter and the validity of idea they are presenting. I hope that makes sense. Androfish (talk) 11:52, August 29, 2012 (UTC)


I'd like to add a section with examples of arguments that resemble the tone argument, but are not. I've misidentified tone arguments a lot in the past, and it seems to be a common problem.

The example I have in mind is when feminists, PoC, or other groups the tone argument is normally used against nonetheless talk about conversational tactics they can use to better communicate with others--including the very people who are oppressing them, and including tactics that involve civility and politeness on the part of the oppressed. Sometimes people outside the oppressed group can even contribute to that kind of discussion. Often the discussion centers on choosing the best tactic for a particular purpose, and is therefore an "argument" in the general sense--it might even get pretty heated, as academic disputes often do. It's still not a tone argument, in the sense used here, because it's not a derail--although this kind of conversation might occur late in the same comment thread as another, ostensibly tone-unrelated topic.

Establishing that a given argument about tone is or isn't a tone argument requires awareness of many axes of context, including intersectionality, as well as the particular norms of online activist communities that may or may not be safe spaces. If you haven't studied those norms, the tone argument is really easy to misidentify and mischaracterize and so forth.

I feel like there should be more examples than that one, but I'm not coming up with any at the moment. Got any?LogicalDash (talk) 17:26, April 20, 2013 (UTC)

LogicalDash- If I'm understanding your question, you are asking for examples which point out how inter-feminist dialogue calling for civility between one another is not a form of the tone argument but may be labeled as such? If so, I would agree. The entry should also probably make clear that subscribing to the school of thought called feminism doesn't render one immune to employing this tactic against other feminists, but it is rare, and usually an example of one's own privilege blindness. I personally just want to make sure the article is clear that when discussed through a feminist lens, the term "tone argument" is understood to be a tactic used *against* feminist speech. --EveOffline (talk) 09:06, April 25, 2013 (UTC)

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