Ad hoc

Ad hoc , Latin phrase that literally means “for this.” Generally it refers to a solution developed specifically for a specific problem or purpose and, therefore, is not generalizable or usable for other purposes. It is used then to refer to something that is suitable only for a certain purpose. Broadly speaking, ad hoc can be translated as “specific” or “specifically”.


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  • 1 Use in Logic
  • 2 Use in Law
  • 3 Use in Telecommunications and Informatics
  • 4 Use in Medicine
  • 5 External links

Use in Logic

An ad hoc hypothesis is a concrete hypothesis created to explain a fact that contradicts a theory. Some hypotheses are not sufficient by themselves and require that they be put in conjunction with others, which have an instrumental or auxiliary character, and which are called auxiliary hypotheses. These hypotheses fulfill the role of additional premises, and are supposed to fulfill two requirements that are:

  • Be falsifiable.
  • Be tested previously or independently of the fundamental hypotheses.

If these requirements are not met, it will be said that it is an ad hoc hypothesis. Or in other words, it is an irrefutable statement intended to “shield” the main hypothesis to save it from falsification.

The ad hoc fallacy is the one that states: “Because A happened before B, it does not mean that A necessarily caused B”. It is called “ad hoc” because of the incorrect assumption that A is linked exclusively to B.

Use in Law

As an ad hoc legal term it can be interpreted as “for a specific purpose”. For example, an “ad hoc attorney” means that you are an attorney appointed or appointed for that particular case. For the same reason, an ad hoc standard or an ad hoc contract would be one or one that has been developed for a specific situation, and that will have little or no applicability beyond that situation. Similarly, it is used for the domiciles of lawyers, when they belong to another jurisdiction and must choose an ad hoc domicile in the jurisdiction where a case is being heard, reason for which they choose the ad hoc domicile for that specific case.

Use in Telecommunications and Informatics

In communication networks, an ad hoc network is one (especially wireless) in which there is no central node, but all devices are on equal terms. Ad hoc is the easiest way to build a network. You only need to have 2 boards or wireless network cards (of the same technology). Once installed on the PCs, the manufacturer’s configuration software is used to configure them in ad-hoc mode, defining the common identifier they will use (SSID). This mode is recommended only in case we need a communication between no more than two devices. For example, ad hoc networks are those that are created spontaneously, without a specific infrastructure and operating in a limited space and time.

The term is also used in computing to refer to queries in ad hoc querying or ad hoc reporting databases . This implies that the system allows the user to personalize a query in real time, instead of being tied to predesigned queries for reports. Generally, ad hoc queries allow users with little experience in SQL to have the same access to the information in the database, for this the systems that support ad hoc have GUIs to generate them.

Use in Medicine

This phrase is used to refer to groups or committees [ad hoc] created for a specific purpose to come to develop a unified consensus on certain issues. In medical law it is also used in conjunction with the term ‘lex artis’ since it is not generally applicable, but to a specific situation or to a professional in question.


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