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Appeal to accomplishment

Appeal to accomplishment is a genetic fallacy wherein Person A challenges a thesis put forward by Person B because Person B has not accomplished similar feats or accomplished as many feats as Person C or Person A.[1]

The reverse, appealing to the fact that no one has the proper experience in question and thus cannot prove something is impossible, is a version of an argument from silence. The inverse, saying that a person of a particular type cannot be trusted to speak on a matter (e.g. a rich person cannot speak on the plight of the poor), is a version of ad hominem attack.

Appeals to accomplishment are fallacies only when they are simple appeals to authority. It is not fallacious to rely on the testimony of a person who has attained a certain level of education or experience if they can produce further evidence to back up their positions when required.


  • "How dare you criticize the prime minister? What do you know about running an entire country?"
  • "I'll take your opinions on music seriously when you've released a record that went platinum."
  • "Get back to me when you've built up a multi-billion dollar empire of your own. Until then, shut up."

See also


  1. ^ Bennett, Bo. "Appeal to Accomplishment".