We provide a retrospective of 25 years of the International Conference on AI and Law, which was first held in 1987. Fifty papers have been selected from the thirteen conferences and each of them is described in a short subsection individually written by one of the 24 authors. These subsections attempt to place the paper discussed in the context of the development of AI and Law, while often offering some personal reactions and reflections. As a whole, the subsections build into (...) a history of the last quarter century of the field, and provide some insights into where it has come from, where it is now, and where it might go. (shrink)
This book provides a systematic analysis of many common argumentation schemes and a compendium of 96 schemes. The study of these schemes, or forms of argument that capture stereotypical patterns of human reasoning, is at the core of argumentation research. Surveying all aspects of argumentation schemes from the ground up, the book takes the reader from the elementary exposition in the first chapter to the latest state of the art in the research efforts to formalize and classify the schemes, outlined (...) in the last chapter. It provides a systematic and comprehensive account, with notation suitable for computational applications that increasingly make use of argumentation schemes. (shrink)
Informal Logic is an introductory guidebook to the basic principles of constructing sound arguments and criticizing bad ones. Non-technical in approach, it is based on 186 examples, which Douglas Walton, a leading authority in the field of informal logic, discusses and evaluates in clear, illustrative detail. Walton explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical responses. Among the many subjects covered (...) are: forms of valid argument, defeasible arguments, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, straw man argument, jumping to a conclusion, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in drawing conclusions from polls and statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, arguments from analogy, and techniques of posing, replying to, and criticizing questions. This new edition takes into account many new developments in the field of argumentation study that have occurred since 1989, many created by the author. Drawing on these developments, Walton includes and analyzes 36 new topical examples and also brings in recent work on argumentation schemes. Ideally suited for use in courses in informal logic and introduction to philosophy, this book will also be valuable to students of pragmatics, rhetoric, and speech communication. (shrink)
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time such (...) testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
We present a formal, mathematical model of argument structure and evaluation, taking seriously the procedural and dialogical aspects of argumentation. The model applies proof standards to determine the acceptability of statements on an issue-by-issue basis. The model uses different types of premises (ordinary premises, assumptions and exceptions) and information about the dialectical status of statements (stated, questioned, accepted or rejected) to allow the burden of proof to be allocated to the proponent or the respondent, as appropriate, for each premise separately. (...) Our approach allows the burden of proof for a premise to be assigned to a different party than the one who has the burden of proving the conclusion of the argument, and also to change the burden of proof or applicable proof standard as the dialogue progresses from stage to stage. Useful for modeling legal dialogues, the burden of production and burden of persuasion can be handled separately, with a different responsible party and applicable proof standard for each. Carneades enables critical questions of argumentation schemes to be modeled as additional premises, using premise types to capture the varying effect on the burden of proof of different kinds of questions. (shrink)
Media argumentation is a powerful force in our lives. From political speeches to television commercials to war propaganda, it can effectively mobilize political action, influence the public, and market products. This book presents a new and systematic way of thinking about the influence of mass media in our lives, showing the intersection of media sources with argumentation theory, informal logic, computational theory, and theories of persuasion. Using a variety of case studies that represent arguments that typically occur in the mass (...) media, Douglas Walton demonstrates how tools recently developed in argumentation theory can be usefully applied to the identification, analysis, and evaluation of media arguments. (shrink)
In this paper, a solution to the problem of analyzing burden of proof in argumentation is developed by building on the pioneering work of Erik C. W. Krabbe on metadialogues. Three classic cases of burden of proof disputes are analyzed, showing how metadialogue theory can solve the problems they pose. The solution is based on five dialectical requirements: (1) global burden of proof needs to be set at the confrontation stage of a dialogue, (2) there need to be special mechanisms (...) for resolving disputes about burden of proof at all four stages of the dialogue, (3) they are especially significant during the argumentation stage, where burden of proof often shifts back and forth at each move, (4) such local shifts need to be partly regulated by the global burden of proof already set, and (5) the connection between burden of proof and the speech act of making a presumption in a dialogue needs to be clarified. (shrink)
Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation presents the basic tools for the identification, analysis, and evaluation of common arguments for beginners. The book teaches by using examples of arguments in dialogues, both in the text itself and in the exercises. Examples of controversial legal, political, and ethical arguments are analyzed. Illustrating the most common kinds of arguments, the book also explains how to evaluate each kind by critical questioning. Douglas Walton shows how arguments can be reasonable under the right dialogue conditions by (...) using critical questions to evaluate them. The book teaches by example, both in the text itself and in exercises, but it is based on methods that have been developed through the author's thirty years of research in argumentation studies. (shrink)
This article questions social constructionists' claims to introduce Wittgenstein's philosophy to psychology. The philosophical fiction of a neonate Crusoe is introduced to cast doubt on the interpretations and use of the private language argument to support a new psychology developed by the constructionists. It is argued that a neonate Crusoe's viability in philosophy and apparent absence in psychology offends against the integrity of the philosophical contribution Wittgenstein might make to psychology. The consequences of accepting Crusoe's viability are explored as they (...) appear in both philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to make it clear how and why begging the question should be seen as a pragmatic fallacy which can only be properly evaluated in a context of dialogue. Included in the paper is a review of the contemporary literature on begging the question that shows the gradual emergence over the past twenty years or so of the dialectical conception of this fallacy. A second aim of the paper is to investigate a number of general (...) problems raised by the pragmatic framework. (shrink)
A "slippery slope argument" is a type of argument in which a first step is taken and a series of inextricable consequences follow, ultimately leading to a disastrous outcome. Many textbooks on informal logic and critical thinking treat the slippery slope argument as a fallacy. Walton argues that used correctly in some cases, they can be a reasonable type of argument to shift a burden of proof in a critical discussion, while in other cases they are used incorrectly. Walton identifies (...) and analyzes four types of slippery slope argument. Walton presents guidelines that show how each type of slippery slope argument can be used correctly or incorrectly, using over fifty case studies of argumentation on controversial issues. These include abortion, medical research on human embryos, euthanasia, the decriminalization of marijuana, pornography, and censorship, and banning of American flag burning. (shrink)
This paper looks around among the major traditional fallacies — centering mainly around the so-called “gang of eighteen” — to discuss which of them should properly be classified as fallacies of relevance. The paper argues that four of these fallacies are fallacies primarily because they are failures of relevance in argumentation, while others are fallacies in a way that is more peripherally related to failures of relevance. Still others have an even more tangential relation to failures of relevance. This paper (...) is part of a larger research project on dialecical relevance in argumentative discourse, currently underway in collaboration with Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst. (shrink)
In redefining logic, philosophers need to go back to the Aristotelian roots of the subject, to expand the boundaries of the subject to include informal logic and to give up false oppositions between informal and formal logic.
A general outline of a theory of reasoned dialogue is presented as an underlying basis of critical analysis of a text of argument discourse. This theory is applied to the analysis of informal fallacies by showing how textual evidence can be brought to bear in argument reconstruction. Several basic types of dialogue are identified and described, but the persuasive type of dialogue is emphasized as being of key importance to critical thinking theory.
This is an introductory guide to the basic principles of constructing good arguments and criticizing bad ones. It is nontechnical in its approach, and is based on 150 key examples, each discussed and evaluated in clear, illustrative detail. The author explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound argument strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical questions for responding. Among the many subjects covered are: techniques of posing, (...) replying to, and criticizing questions, forms of valid argument, relevance, appeals to emotion, personal attack, uses and abuses of expert opinion, problems in deploying statistics, loaded terms, equivocation, and arguments from analogy. (shrink)
This article evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of arguments based on appeals to expertise. The intersection of two areas is explored: (i) the traditional argumentum ad verecundiam (literally, “appeal to modesty,” but characteristically the appeal to the authority of expert judgment) in informal logic, and (ii) the uses of expert systems in artificial intelligence. The article identifies a model of practical reasoning that underlies the logic of expert systems and the model of argument appropriate for the informal logic of the (...) argumentum ad verecundiam. (shrink)
This article outlines criteria for the evaluation of the argumentum ad hominem (argument against the person, or personal attack in argument) that is traditionally a part of the curriculum in informal logic. The argument is shown to be a kind of criticism which works by shifting the burden of proof in dialogue through citing a pragmatic inconsistency in an arguer's position. Several specific cases of ad hominem argumentation which pose interesting problems in analyzing this type of criticism are studied.
This article presents a philosophical framework for physician-family ethical decision-making for the controversial cases of withdrawal, initiation, or continuation of treatment for spina bifida infants. The well-known criteria for selective treatment proposed by Lorber are shown to be ethically sub-optimal on the grounds that they are based on a general conception of the decision framework that is open to serious criticisms and questioning.We propose a model of joint physician-family decision-making that we think represents a more rational method of balancing patient (...) autonomy with the professional expertise and international moral norms of physicians. We raise serious reservations about the wisdom of allowing the state to intervene too strenously in this type of decision, in many cases. (shrink)