Analysis of the talmudic argumentum a fortiori inference rule (kal vachomer) using matrix abduction

Studia Logica 92 (3):281 - 364 (2009)
We motivate and introduce a new method of abduction, Matrix Abduction, and apply it to modelling the use of non-deductive inferences in the Talmud such as Analogy and the rule of Argumentum A Fortiori. Given a matrix with entries in {0, 1}, we allow for one or more blank squares in the matrix, say a i , j =?. The method allows us to decide whether to declare a i , j = 0 or a i , j = 1 or a i , j =? undecided. This algorithmic method is then applied to modelling several legal and practical reasoning situations including the Talmudic rule of Kal-Vachomer. We add an Appendix showing that this new rule of Matrix Abduction, arising from the Talmud, can also be applied to the analysis of paradoxes in voting and judgement aggregation. In fact we have here a general method for executing non-deductive inferences.
Keywords Matrix Abduction  Talmudic logic  Argumentum A Fortiori  Qal-Vachomer  argumentation
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DOI 10.2307/40269069
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