Monotonicity in Practical Reasoning

Argumentation 17 (3):335-346 (2003)
Classic deductive logic entails that once a conclusion is sustained by a valid argument, the argument can never be invalidated, no matter how many new premises are added. This derived property of deductive reasoning is known as monotonicity. Monotonicity is thought to conflict with the defeasibility of reasoning in natural language, where the discovery of new information often leads us to reject conclusions that we once accepted. This perceived failure of monotonic reasoning to observe the defeasibility of natural-language arguments has led some philosophers to abandon deduction itself (!), often in favor of new, non-monotonic systems of inference known as `default logics'. But these radical logics (e.g., Ray Reiter's default logic) introduce their desired defeasibility at the expense of other, equally important intuitions about natural-language reasoning. And, as a matter of fact, if we recognize that monotonicity is a property of the form of a deductive argument and not its content (i.e., the claims in the premise(s) and conclusion), we can see how the common-sense notion of defeasibility can actually be captured by a purely deductive system
Keywords default logic  exceptions  monotonicity  practical generalizations  validity
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    John A. Taber (2004). Is Indian Logic Nonmonotonic? Philosophy East and West 54 (2):143-170.
    Robert A. Kowalski & Francesca Toni (1996). Abstract Argumentation. Artificial Intelligence and Law 4 (3-4):275-296.
    Yoad Winter (2003). Monotonicity and Collective Quantification. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 12 (2):127-151.
    Tyler Burge (2003). Logic and Analyticity. Grazer Philosophische Studien 66 (1):199-249.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    14 ( #95,238 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.