About this topic
Summary Informal Logic is not an alternative to formal logic. It is, broadly, the normative philosophical study of reasoning, inference and argumentation in natural language. Informal logic seeks to provide advice to "real life" arguers in the hopes of enabling them to argue more reasonably, to avoid fallacies, and to achieve greater success in persuasion through cogent, well-reasoned argumentation. Another goal of informal logic is to improve the teaching of reasoning skills.  Some issues that might be considered distinctive to informal logic include: the metaphysical question of whether arguments are abstract objects, events, or something else, what makes arguments in natural languages good or bad, the relationship between argument and justification, theories of virtuous arguing, the nature of fallacies, the problem of deep disagreement between both peer and non-peer arguers, the nature of multi-modal arguments (arguments critically involving non-linguistic elements like images or sounds), and how to achieve more socially just norms and practices of everyday argumentation.
Key works Many of the interests now gathered under the banner of informal logic well predate the emergence of the field as a distinct area of study. Arguably, the tradition begins with Aristotle, the Organon and the Rhetoric both being of central relevance. The first section of Hansen & Pinto 1995 contains entries by writers like Locke, Whately, and Mill, all of whom are important for the history of informal logic. In the 20th century, Hamblin 1970, Toulmin 1958, and Perelman 1969 are considered seminal works in the field. Wellman 1971 is important because it is a point of continuity between the history of attempts in ethics to arrive at standards of good moral reasoning distinct from the canons of formal deductive logic, and informal logic's broader attempt to do the same. A good guide to the early history of informal logic can be found in Johnson 1996. It is also important to note the confluence between early work on critical thinking and informal logic. This is captured in Johnson 2012.
Introductions Walton 2008 and Govier 1991 are accessible textbooks by two of the field's most influential writers. Important technical treatments showcasing the current diversity of approaches within informal logic include the following: Pinto 2003, Tindale 2013, Johnson 2000, Freeman 2005, Walton et al 2008, Hitchcock 2006, Groarke 2015 and Finocchiaro 2013.
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  1. Towards a stronger concept of argument.Luis Felipe Bartolo Alegre - manuscript
    The standard definition of “argument” is satisfied by any series of statements in which one (of the statements) is marked as the conclusion of the others. This leads to the counter-intuitive result that “I like cookies, therefore, all swans are white” is an argument, since “therefore” marks “all swans are white” as the conclusion of “I like cookies”. This objection is often disregarded by stating that, although the previous sequence is an argument, it fails to be a good one. However, (...)
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  2. Any Dispute May Be Resolved By Argument But Rational People May Disagree About Anything.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Two common claims in philosophy are that deep disagreements cannot, in principle, be resolved by argument and that normal disagreements will be resolved by argument. In each claim it is assumed that the parties to the disagreement are rational. I argue that both claims are false. The first fails to take account of refutations. The second fails to recognise the role of conjectures in the dynamics of the growth of knowledge. There is no disagreement such that it is impossible for (...)
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  3. How To Argue (And How Not To).Danny Frederick - manuscript
    I distinguish arguments and arguing and I explain some important logical features of arguments. I then explain how philosophers have been misled, apparently by Euclid, into giving seriously mistaken accounts of arguing. I give a few examples. I then offer a seven-step guide on how to argue. After that, I conclude.
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  4. Lying in the Time of Crisis.Venkata Rayudu Posina - manuscript
    Beginning with an examination of the recent Nature News centered on Harvard-Lancet-Mehra et al. COVID-19 research scandal, I put forth suggestions--for further debate--to safeguard the integrity of science in a time of crisis. In particular, I identify a subtle form of lying published as Nature news. Subsequently, drawing on Scarry's book "Thinking in an Emergency", I argue that slow reasoning and quick action (called for by crises) are not mutually incompatible; thinking can be transformed into conscious-reflex action by way of (...)
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  5. Conditionals all the way down.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    It is commonly accepted that unconditional statements are clearer and less problematic than conditional ones. This article challenges this belief by proposing that all unconditional statements can be reduced to conditional ones since epistemic justification is inherently conditional in nature. The distinction between unconditional and conditional statements is similar to the distinction between assumptions and premises, which is an idealization that results from our attempts to limit epistemic complexity. This has perplexing consequences: (1) since any ordinary statement can be viewed (...)
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  6. Coherence of Inferences.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    It is usually accepted that deductions are non-informative and monotonic, inductions are informative and nonmonotonic, abductions create hypotheses but are epistemically irrelevant, and both deductions and inductions can’t provide new insights. In this article, I attempt to provide a more cohesive view of the subject with the following hypotheses: (1) the paradigmatic examples of deductions, such as modus ponens and hypothetical syllogism, are not inferential forms, but coherence requirements for inferences; (2) since any reasoner aims to be coherent, any inference (...)
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  7. The carneades argumentation framework: Using presumptions and exceptions to model critical questions.Douglas Walton with Chris Reed - manuscript
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  8. Relevance in the law: A logical perspective.Author unknown - manuscript
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  9. Examination dialogue: An argumentation framework for critically questioning an expert opinion.Douglas Walton - manuscript
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  10. Visualization tools, argumentation schemes and expert opinion evidence in law.Douglas Walton - manuscript
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  11. Common knowledge in argumentation.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - manuscript
    Studies in Communication Sciences, 6, 2006, 3-26 . [link to online version posted].
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  12. Begging the question is not a fallacy.John Woods - manuscript
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  13. Chapter XIII. Erotetic Reasoning.Anna Brożek - unknown - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 99:279-306.
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  14. Critical Thinking: A Guide to Evaluating Information. [REVIEW]Jim Gough - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 3.
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  15. Fallacy, What Fallacy? Theaetetus and the Instances of Knowledge.Fraser Landry - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 4.
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  16. Rhetoric of “stakeholding.”.David M. Berube - forthcoming - Nanoethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology.
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  17. Alban BOUVIER, L'argumentation philosophique. Etude de sociologie cognitive.M. Bourdeau - forthcoming - Revue Internationale de Philosophie.
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  18. Argumentation: a new paradigm?M. M. Carrilho - forthcoming - Revue Internationale de Philosophie.
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  19. El sector informal.Jacques Charmes - forthcoming - Humanitas.
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  20. Descartes et l'argumentation philosophique, sous la direction de Frederic Cossutta.E. Danblon - forthcoming - Revue Internationale de Philosophie.
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  21. Thinking & reasoning.Michael E. Doherty - forthcoming - Thinking and Reasoning: Soucial Judgement Theory.
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  22. On systems of rhetoric+ reprinted from'philosophy and rhetoric'vol 1, issue 3, pg 131-44, 1968.D. Ehninger - forthcoming - Philosophy and Rhetoric.
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  23. The Toulmin Brief.Emily Friedrich - forthcoming - Argumentation.
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  24. Toward a feminist poetic of critical thinking.James W. Garrison & A. Phelan - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
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  25. Forthcoming, Inquiry, Summer 2004.Darren Grant & Melayne Morgan McInnes - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
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  26. Diálogos na dissertação escolar: um estudo sobre os enunciados de senso comum e de polêmica/Dialogues at the scholarly argumentative text: an analysis of consensual and polemical enunciates.Rinaldo Guariglia - forthcoming - Bakhtiniana.
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  27. Meta-argumentation modelling I: Methodology and techniques.Dov Guido Boella, Leendert der Torre M. Gabbavany & Serena Villata - forthcoming - Studia Logica.
    In this paper, we introduce the methodology and techniques of meta-argumentation to model argumentation. The methodology of meta-argumentation instantiates Dung’s abstract argumentation theory with an extended argumentation theory, and is thus based on a combination of the methodology of instantiating abstract arguments, and the methodology of extending Dung’s basic argumentation frameworks with other relations among abstract arguments. The technique of meta-argumentation applies Dung’s theory of abstract argumentation to itself, by instantiating Dung’s abstract arguments with meta-arguments using a technique called flattening. (...)
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  28. Editorial: A Dialogue on Logic.Sven Ove Hansson - forthcoming - Theoria.
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  29. Feminist Perspectives on Argumentation.Catherine E. Hundleby - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Feminists note an association of arguing with aggression and masculinity and question the necessity of this connection. Arguing also seems to some to identify a central method of philosophical reasoning, and gendered assumptions and standards would pose problems for the discipline. Can feminine modes of reasoning provide an alternative or supplement? Can overarching epistemological standards account for the benefits of different approaches to arguing? These are some of the prospects for argumentation inside and outside of philosophy that feminists consider. -/- (...)
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  30. The recent development of informal logic.Ralph H. Johnson & J. Anthony Blair - forthcoming - Informal Logic: The First International Symposium.
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  31. The nature and classification of fallacies.Howard Kahane - forthcoming - Informal Logic: The First International Symposium. Ca: Edgepress.
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  32. Case-based Reasoning and the Deep Structure Approach to Knowledge Representation, in Proceedings of the Third International Conference on.Andrej Kowalski - forthcoming - Artificial Intelligence and Law.
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  33. Reflections on the genetic fallacy.Thelma Z. Lavine - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  34. Analyzing the philosophy of travel with Schopenhauerian argument maps.Jens Lemanski - forthcoming - Southern Journal of Philosophy.
    Emily Thomas's seminal book The Meaning of Travel has brought the philosophy of travel back into the public eye in recent years. Thomas has shown that the topic of travel can be approached from numerous different perspectives, ranging from the historical to the conceptual-analytical, to the political or even social-philosophical perspectives. This article introduces another perspective, which Thomas only indirectly addresses, namely the argumentation-theoretical perspective. It is notable that contemporary philosophy of travel lacks the nineteenth-century approach of using diagrams and (...)
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  35. Persuasion by our art is always linked with our science—in the exhaustiveness of our research.Yvonna S. Lincoln - forthcoming - Mind.
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  36. Essentials of Dialogism: Aspects and Elements of a Dialogical Approach to Language.Per Linell - forthcoming - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal.
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  37. Why be critical?(Or rational or moral?) On the justification of critical thinking.Christine McCarthy - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
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  38. Critical thinking without logic: Restoring dignity to information.John McPeck - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
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  39. Persuasion and the Dependence Effect.Reese Miller - forthcoming - Business Ethics in Canada.
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  40. Interface rhetoric.Andrew Morrison & Even Westvang - forthcoming - Kairos.
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  41. Informal Provability, First-Order BAT Logic and First Steps Towards a Formal Theory of Informal Provability.Pawel Pawlowski & Rafal Urbaniak - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1-27.
    BAT is a logic built to capture the inferential behavior of informal provability. Ultimately, the logic is meant to be used in an arithmetical setting. To reach this stage it has to be extended to a first-order version. In this paper we provide such an extension. We do so by constructing non-deterministic three-valued models that interpret quantifiers as some sorts of infinite disjunctions and conjunctions. We also elaborate on the semantical properties of the first-order system and consider a couple of (...)
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  42. Towards an empirically informed normative Bayesian scheme-based account of argument from expert opinion.Kong Ngai Pei & Chin Shing Arthur Chin - forthcoming - Thinking and Reasoning.
    This article seeks, first, to show that much of the existing normative work on argument from expert opinion (AEO) is problematic for failing to be properly informed by empirical findings on expert performance. Second, it seeks to show how, with the analytic tool of Bayesian reasoning, the problem diagnosed can be remedied to circumvent some of the problems facing the scheme-based treatment of AEOs. To establish the first contention, we will illustrate how empirical studies on factors conditioning expert reliability can (...)
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  43. Testing for critical thinking.H. Petrie - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
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  44. Carroll's Regress Times Three.Gilbert Plumer - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-21.
    I show that in our theoretical representations of argument, vicious infinite regresses of self-reference may arise with respect to each of the three usual, informal criteria of argument cogency: the premises are to be relevant, sufficient, and acceptable. They arise needlessly, by confusing a cogency criterion with argument content. The three types of regress all are structurally similar to Lewis Carroll’s famous regress, which involves quantitative extravagance with no explanatory power. Most attention is devoted to the sufficiency criterion, including its (...)
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  45. Formal and informal decision-making at EU level.Florin Popa - forthcoming - Cogito.
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  46. Some antistrophes to the'rhetoric'+ reprinted from'philosophy and rhetoric'vol 1, issue 3, pg 145-64, 1968.R. Price - forthcoming - Philosophy and Rhetoric.
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  47. O ensino da escrita argumentativa na perspectiva dialógica/The teaching of argumentative writing in the dialogic perspective.Regina Braz da Silva Santos Rocha - forthcoming - Bakhtiniana.
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  48. The ancient argumentative game.S. Rubinelli - forthcoming - Topoi.
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  49. The philosophical and pragmatic significance of informal logic.Michael Scriven - forthcoming - Informal Logic: The First International Symposium.
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  50. The 3rd tokyo conference on argumentation.Takeshi Suzuki - forthcoming - Argumentation.
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1 — 50 / 5323