What is Ad Misericordiam?

The argument Ad Misericordiam is the appeal to piety to achieve conviction when there are no arguments. It is a fallacy that consists in the manipulation of the feelings to avoid a punishment.

A good example would be:"Mr. policeman, I passed the red light because I'm in a hurry. I have my mother interned and I must take the orders to the sanatorium so that they can operate it. Please do not fine me."

What is Ad Misericordiam?

This example tries to justify a fault with a fact that can not be verified. It is impossible to verify whether it tells the truth or whether it is a fallacy.

Ad Misericordiam: seek piety without arguing facts

This type of appellate is very much in the courts, where the facts are left aside. It is about getting acquittal through pity on the jury.

In this way it is a question of turning the victimizer into a victim, arguing situations in the life of the accused. Appeal to this fallacy when the evidence does not favor the accused.

Through the argument Ad Misericordiam exhibits circumstances of personal life, whether social, economic, labor, family or educational of the accused, in order to exculpate him for the act committed.


  • "Lord Judge, my client did not kill her husband. Already enough has to be left alone.
  • "Lords of the Jury, my client did not want to kill his son. We all know the love a father professes to his children. If he abandoned it at age 5 it was because he could not keep himself, much less he could do it with his son. You imagine the moral damage of losing a child. In addition to this moral damage, will we deprive him of his freedom for the same offense?"
  • "We must invade this country because they are developing dangerous nuclear programs for humanity."
  • "Inspector, if you fine me, I will not be able to feed my fourteen children."
  • "If you let me, I think I'll kill myself."
  • "Teacher, my father is very sick. If you defer me I could give you something, and you would feel guilty."
  • "You can not condemn it! If he stole to feed the poor!"
  • "Gentlemen of the jury, my client had to see in the death of his parents, but bear in mind that he has just been orphaned."
  • "Mr. Police, please do not fine me, I turned left because my son leaves school and starts crying if he does not see me. You will not want to traumatize him and feel guilty."
  • "I understand, Inspector, but I was speeding because a friend needs blood and I'm the only one who can donate for him. I am your only salvation."
  • "Boss, I'm not stealing the tool, I only borrowed it to repair a water pipe in my house, because my children are wet because of that."
  • "Mr. Judge, the children of my client had not eaten for days, so he had to steal some money. Who would not do it if their children are hungry?"


  1. "Argument ad misericordiam"in Wikipedia. (December 2016). Retrieved in September 2017 from Wikipedia on: en.wikipedia.org
  2. "Examples of ad misericordiam"in Retoricas (February 2015). Recovered in September 2017 from Retoricas in: rhetoric.com
  3. "Argumentum ad misericordiam"in Xing (November 2010). Recovered in September 2017 from Xing in: xing.com
  4. "Fallacy Ad Misericordiam"in Use of reason. Dictionary of Fallacies. Recovered in September 2017 from Use of reason. Dictionary of Fallacies in: perso.wanadoo.es
  5. "Argument of mercy"in Falacia ad misericordiam (May 2015). Recovered in September 2017 from Falacia ad misericordiam in: fadmisericordiam.blogspot.com.ar
  6. "Ad misericordiam"in Philosophy of communication (February 2016) Recovered in September 2017 of Philosophy of Communication in: Philosophy

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