Dialectical and heuristic arguments: presumptions and burden of proof.

Presumption is a complex concept in law, affecting the dialogue setting. However, it is not clear how presumptions work in everyday argumentation, in which the concept of “plausible argumentation” seems to encompass all kinds of inferences. By analyzing the legal notion of presumption, it appears that this type of reasoning combines argument schemes with reasoning from ignorance. Presumptive reasoning can be considered a particular form of reasoning, which needs positive or negative evidence to carry a probative weight on the conclusion. For this reason, presumptions shift the burden of providing evidence or explanations onto the interlocutor. The latter can provide new information or fail to do so: whereas in the first case the new information rebuts the presumption, in the second case, the absence of information that the interlocutor could reasonably provide strengthen the conclusion of the presumptive reasoning. In both cases the result of the presumption is to strengthen the conclusion of the reasoning from lack of evidence. As shown in the legal cases, the effect of presumption is to shift the burden of proof to the interlocutor; however, the shift a presumption effects is only the shift of the evidential burden, or the burden of completing the incomplete knowledge from which the conclusion was drawn. The burden of persuasion remains on the proponent of the presumption. On the contrary, reasoning from definition in law is a conclusive proof, and shifts to the other party the burden to prove the contrary. This crucial difference can be applied to everyday argumentation: natural arguments can be divided into dialectical and presumptive arguments, leading to conclusions materially different in strength.
Keywords Burden of proof  argumentation schemes  legal reasoning
Categories (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 Fabrizio Macagno, Dialectical and heuristic arguments: presumptions and burden of proof.
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Michael Rescorla (2009). Shifting the Burden of Proof? Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):86-109.
Gregor Betz (2009). Evaluating Dialectical Structures. Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (3):283 - 312.
Henry Prakken (2008). A Formal Model of Adjudication Dialogues. Artificial Intelligence and Law 16 (3):305-328.
Thorsten Sander (2003). Beweislastverteilung und Intuitionen in philosophischen Diskursen. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 34 (1):69-97.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

198 ( #18,491 of 1,932,541 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

53 ( #7,217 of 1,932,541 )

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.