Ipse Dixit Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Ipse Dixit, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Ipse Dixit?

Latin meaning ” he himself said it”. It is a phrase used for a statement which is unsupported by any other evidence than the fact that the person himself said it.

History and Meaning of Ipse Dixit

The term "ipse dixit" originated from the Latin phrase meaning "he himself said it." In legal terms, it refers to a statement or argument that is accepted as true solely because of the authority of the person who made it, rather than based on any supporting evidence or logic. This is often viewed as a fallacy in legal reasoning, as it lacks a sound foundation for drawing any conclusions.

Examples of Ipse Dixit

  1. In a court case, a lawyer argues that a particular precedent should be followed, citing the opinion of a well-known judge. This would be an example of ipse dixit, as the argument is based solely on the authority of the judge rather than any reasoning or evidence.
  2. A scientist declares that their theory is true because they are an acknowledged expert in the field. This statement would be an example of ipse dixit, as it relies solely on the authority of the scientist rather than any empirical evidence.
  3. A politician makes a claim about the effectiveness of a certain policy, stating that it is the best solution simply because they believe it to be so. This would be an example of ipse dixit, as it lacks any empirical support.

Legal Terms Similar to Ipse Dixit

  1. Argument from authority: An argument that relies on the perceived authority of a person or group rather than on evidence or reasoning.
  2. Ad hominem: An argument that attacks the character or personality of a person rather than focusing on their arguments or evidence.
  3. Confirmation bias: A tendency to interpret evidence in a way that supports one's pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses, rather than considering contradictory evidence.