Look before you leap

Social Epistemology 23 (2):89 – 104 (2009)
Abstract
This paper is a critical analysis of three theories of fallacy, those of Ralph Johnson, of Jaakko Hintikka, and of Robert Fogelin and Timothy Duggan. Although the theories are very different from one another, all oppose the traditional, non-dialectical view of a fallacy as a mistaken inference. The theories are exposed and explained in detail, and then subjected to critical examination. For a variety of reasons, all are found seriously wanting. The mistakes of each suggest that it is better to stay with the traditional view, at least if suitably refined and qualified
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