Argumentum ad crumenam

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An argumentum ad crumenam argument, also known as an argument to the purse, is the formal fallacy of concluding that a statement is correct because the speaker is rich (or that a statement is incorrect because the speaker is poor).

The opposite is the argumentum ad lazarum.


If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?
This new law is a good idea. Most of the people against it are riff-raff who make less than $20,000 a year.
Warren Buffett is hosting a seminar. This seminar is better than others, because Warren Buffett is richer than most people.

From Tristram Shandy:[1] "Then, added my father, making use of the argument Ad Crumenam, 'I will lay twenty guineas to a single crown-piece, (which will serve to give away to Obadiah when he gets back) that this same Stevinus was some engineer or other, or has wrote something or other, either directly or indirectly, upon the science of fortification.'" This is a deliberately misleading use of the term Ad Crumenam, to be compared with other examples of Sterne's humorous (mis)use of Latin names for types of argument; e.g., the narrator Tristram's claim that he has invented the term 'Argumentum ad Verecundiam' (an argument from authority) to describe his uncle Toby's practice, when confronted with something he does not understand, of "whistling half a dozen bars of the 'Lillabullero'".


  1. ^ Laurence Sterne. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Everyman's library: New York, 1991.

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