Informal Logic 31 (4):368-394 (2011)
|Abstract||The force and the deceptive nature of the fallacy of equivocation lies in its dialectical nature. The speaker redefines a word in order to classify a fragment of reality, while the hearer draws a conclusion based on the ordinary meaning of such a classification. This difference between the interlocutors’ meanings is grounded on a crucial epistemic gap: how is it possible to know our hearer’s mind, and his knowledge of the words we used? Building on Hamblin’s account of equivocation, the speaker’s meaning and the manipulative strategies based on redefinitions can be explained as the conclusion of an implicit reasoning based on a presumption of ordinary meaning.|
|Keywords||interpretation presumption redefinition dialectical strategies, persuasion argumentation schemes, burden of proof equivocation|
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