Argumentum Ad Lapidem

Agumentum Ad Lapidem

Also Called

  • Appeal to the Stone

The Act of dismissing a statement as absurd without providing any proof that is absurd.

Similar to Begging the Question.

Like Appeal to Ridicule only it doesn't even try to make an argument.



  • In Thank You For Smoking, Nick Naylor says that the anti-tobacco council wants kids to die because it's good for their chequebooks, which is countered by "that's ridiculous". Later, he says that it's hypocritical for Senator Finnistre to say he supports American farmers while calling for the end of tobacco farming, which Finistirre counters with "" The point in both instances is that Naylor is excellent at winning arguments, rather than that he's right.

Real Life

  • The origin of the fallacy is Samuel Johnson's response to Bishop Berkeley's argument that material objects do not exist, only minds and the ideas within them. He said "I refute it thus" and kicked a stone, which, naturally, failed to show that this was a material object rather than just an idea within a mind.
    • A similar story is told about Zeno's paradoxes. Namely, that the Cynic Diogenes, upon having heard Zeno's arguments, said nothing, but merely stood up and walked.