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A Concise Introduction to Logic

Belmont, CA, USA: Wadsworth (1982)

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  1. Ad Hominem Fallacies, Bias, and Testimony.Audrey Yap - 2013 - Argumentation 27 (2):97-109.
    An ad hominem fallacy is committed when an individual employs an irrelevant personal attack against an opponent instead of addressing that opponent’s argument. Many discussions of such fallacies discuss judgments of relevance about such personal attacks, and consider how we might distinguish those that are relevant from those that are not. This paper will argue that the literature on bias and testimony can helpfully contribute to that analysis. This will highlight ways in which biases, particularly unconscious biases, can make ad (...)
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  • Most assur'd of what he is most ignorant.Michael J. Wreen - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (3):341 - 368.
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  • May the force be with you.Michael J. Wreen - 1988 - Argumentation 2 (4):425-440.
    This paper is a critical assessment of argumentum ad baculum, or appeal to force. Its principal contention is that, contrary to common opinion, there is no general fallacy of ad baculum. Most real-life ad baculums are, in fact, fairly strong. A basic logical form for reconstructed ad baculums is proposed, and a number of heterodoxical conclusions are also advanced and argued for. They include that ad baculum is not necessarily a prudential argument, that ad baculum need not involve force, violence, (...)
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  • “The Scientific Method” as Myth and Ideal.Brian A. Woodcock - 2014 - Science & Education 23 (10):2069-2093.
  • Slippery Slope Arguments in Legal Contexts: Towards Argumentative Patterns.Bin Wang & Frank Zenker - 2021 - Argumentation 35 (4):581-601.
    Addressing the slippery slope argument (SSA) in legal contexts from the perspective of pragma-dialectics, this paper elaborates the conditions under which an SSA-scheme instance is used reasonably (rather than fallaciously). We review SSA-instances in past legal decisions and analyze the basic legal SSA-scheme. By illustrating the institutional preconditions influencing the reasoning by which an SSA moves forward, we identify three sub-schemes (causal SSA, analogical SSA, and Sorites SSA). For each sub-scheme we propose critical questions, as well as four rules that (...)
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  • Wrenching from Context: The Manipulation of Commitments.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2010 - Argumentation 24 (3):283-317.
    This article analyses the fallacy of wrenching from context, using the dialectical notions of commitment and implicature as tools. The data, a set of key examples, is used to sharpen the conceptual borderlines around the related fallacies of straw man, accent, misquotation, and neglect of qualifications. According to the analysis, the main characteristics of wrenching from context are the manipulation of the meaning of the other’s statement through devices such as the use of misquotations, selective quotations, and quoting out of (...)
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  • The Slippery Slope Argument in the Ethical Debate on Genetic Engineering of Humans.Douglas Walton - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1507-1528.
    This article applies tools from argumentation theory to slippery slope arguments used in current ethical debates on genetic engineering. Among the tools used are argumentation schemes, value-based argumentation, critical questions, and burden of proof. It is argued that so-called drivers such as social acceptance and rapid technological development are also important factors that need to be taken into account alongside the argumentation scheme. It is shown that the slippery slope argument is basically a reasonable form of argument, but is often (...)
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  • Poisoning the Well.Douglas Walton - 2006 - Argumentation 20 (3):273-307.
    In this paper it is shown is that although poisoning the well has generally been treated as a species of ad hominem fallacy, when you try to analyze the fallacy using ad hominem schemes, even by supplementing with related schemes like argument from position to know, the analysis ultimately fails. The main argument of the paper is taken up with proving this negative claim by applying these schemes to examples of arguments associated with the fallacy of poisoning the well. Although (...)
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  • Profiles of Dialogue for Amphiboly.Douglas Walton - 2020 - Informal Logic 40 (1):3-45.
    Amphiboly has been widely recognized, starting from the time of Aristotle, as an informal fallacy arising from grammatical ambiguity. This paper applies the profiles of dialogue tool to the fallacy of amphiboly, providing a five-step evidence-based procedure whereby a syntactically ambiguous sentence uttered in a natural language text can be evaluated as committing a fallacy of amphiboly. A user applies the tool to a natural language text by comparing a descriptive graph, representing how the argumentation actually went, to a normative (...)
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  • Deceptive arguments containing persuasive language and persuasive definitions.Douglas Walton - 2005 - Argumentation 19 (2):159-186.
    Using persuasive definitions and persuasive language generally to put a spin on an argument has often held to be suspicious, if not deceptive or even fallacious. However, if the purpose of a persuasive definition is to persuade, and if rational persuasion can be a legitimate goal, putting forward a persuasive definition can have a legitimate basis in some cases. To clarify this basis, the old subject of definitions is reconfigured into a new dialectical framework in which, it is argued, a (...)
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  • Classification of Fallacies of Relevance.Douglas Walton - 2004 - Informal Logic 24 (1):71-103.
    Fallacies of relevance, a major category of informal fallacies, include two that could be called pure fallacies of relevance-the wrong conclusion (ignoratio elenchi, wrong conclusion, missing the point) fallacy and the red herring digression, diversion) fallacy. The problem is how to classify examples of these fallacies so that they clearly fall into the one category or the other, on some rational system of classification. In this paper, the argument diagramming software system, Araucaria. is used to analyze the argumentation in some (...)
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  • Argumentation Schemes and Enthymemes.D. Walton & C. A. Reed - 2005 - Synthese 145 (3):339-370.
    The aim of this investigation is to explore the role of argumentation schemes in enthymeme reconstruction. This aim is pursued by studying selected cases of incomplete arguments in natural language discourse to see what the requirements are for filling in the unstated premises and conclusions in some systematic and useful way. Some of these cases are best handled using deductive tools, while others respond best to an analysis based on defeasible argumentations schemes. The approach is also shown to work reasonably (...)
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  • An Automated System for Argument Invention in Law Using Argumentation and Heuristic Search Procedures.Douglas Walton - 2005 - Ratio Juris 18 (4):434-463.
    . A heuristic search procedure for inventing legal arguments is built on two tools already widely in use in argumentation. Argumentation schemes are forms of argument representing premise‐conclusion and inference structures of common types of arguments. Schemes especially useful in law represent defeasible arguments, like argument from expert opinion. Argument diagramming is a visualization tool used to display a chain of connected arguments linked together. One such tool, Araucaria, available free at , helps a user display an argument on the (...)
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  • Defining Deduction.Mark Vorobej - 1992 - Informal Logic 14 (2).
    This paper defends the view that the classification of an argument as being deductive ought to rest exclusively upon psychological considerations; specifically, upon whether the argument's author holds certain beliefs. This account is justified on theoretical and pedagogical grounds, and situated within a general taxonomy of competing proposals. Epistemological difficulties involved in the application of psychological definitions are recognized but claimed to be ineliminable from the praetice of argumentation. The paper concludes by discussing embryonic arguments where the author's relevant beliefs (...)
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  • Two Forms of the Straw Man.Robert Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - Argumentation 20 (3):345-352.
    The authors identify and offer an analysis of a new form of the Straw Man fallacy, and then explore the implications of the prevalence of this fallacy for contemporary political discourse.
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  • Ramsey on “Choosing Life” at the End of Life: Conceptual Analysis of Euthanasia and Adjudicating End-of-Life Care Options.Patrick T. Smith - 2018 - Christian Bioethics 24 (2):151-172.
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  • What is personalized medicine: sharpening a vague term based on a systematic literature review.Sebastian Schleidgen, Corinna Klingler, Teresa Bertram, Wolf H. Rogowski & Georg Marckmann - 2013 - BMC Medical Ethics 14 (1):55.
    Recently, individualized or personalized medicine (PM) has become a buzz word in the academic as well as public debate surrounding health care. However, PM lacks a clear definition and is open to interpretation. This conceptual vagueness complicates public discourse on chances, risks and limits of PM. Furthermore, stakeholders might use it to further their respective interests and preferences. For these reasons it is important to have a shared understanding of PM. In this paper, we present a sufficiently precise as well (...)
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  • Feminist Facing up to the Logical Foundation of Dualist Philosophy: A Sequentialist Approach.Alireza Sayadmansour - 2020 - Axiomathes 32 (2):173-193.
    There is a robust tendency within the contemporary feminist mainstream to argue against and ultimately reject the so-called ‘dualising or dualist philosophy’ since it is the supportive paradigm background for any gender discrimination originated from the hegemonic sovereignty of masculinity over femininity. In this paper, having dived deeper into the feminist critical depiction of the logical binarist foundation on which the dualising philosophy is said to be well-grounded, I will proceed to portray and examine a sequence of doctrines that feminist (...)
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  • A Matricial Vue of Classical Syllogistic and an Extension of the Rules of Valid Syllogism to Rules of Conclusive Syllogisms with Indefinite Terms.Dan Constantin Radulescu - 2022 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 31 (3):465-491.
    One lists the distinct pairs of categorical premises formulable via only the positive terms, S,P,M, by constructing a six by six matrix obtained by pairing the six categorical P-premises, A, O, A, O, where P* ∈ {P,P′}, with the six, similar, categorical S-premises. One shows how five rules of valid syllogism, select only 15 distinct PCPs that entail logical consequences belonging to the set L+: = {A, O, A, E, O, I}. The choice of admissible LCs can be regarded as (...)
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  • Is Every Definition Persuasive?Jakub Pruś & Andrew Aberdein - 2022 - Informal Logic 42 (4):25-47.
    “Is every definition persuasive?” If essentialist views on definition are rejected and a pragmatic account adopted, where defining is a speech act which fixes the meaning of a term, then a problem arises: if meanings are not fixed by the essence of being itself, is not every definition persuasive? To address the problem, we refer to Douglas Walton’s impressive intellectual heritage—specifically on the argumentative potential of definition. In finding some non-persuasive definitions, we show not every definition is persuasive. The persuasiveness (...)
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  • The epistemology of absence-based inference.Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Jesper Kallestrup - 2013 - Synthese 190 (13):2573-2593.
    Our main aim in this paper is to contribute towards a better understanding of the epistemology of absence-based inferences. Many absence-based inferences are classified as fallacies. There are exceptions, however. We investigate what features make absence-based inferences epistemically good or reliable. In Section 2 we present Sanford Goldberg’s account of the reliability of absence-based inference, introducing the central notion of epistemic coverage. In Section 3 we approach the idea of epistemic coverage through a comparison of alethic and evidential principles. The (...)
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  • Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking.Jennifer Wilson Mulnix - 2012 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (5):464-479.
    As a philosophy professor, one of my central goals is to teach students to think critically. However, one difficulty with determining whether critical thinking can be taught, or even measured, is that there is widespread disagreement over what critical thinking actually is. Here, I reflect on several conceptions of critical thinking, subjecting them to critical scrutiny. I also distinguish critical thinking from other forms of mental processes with which it is often conflated. Next, I present my own conception of critical (...)
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  • What’s so bad about scientism?Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - Social Epistemology 31 (4):351-367.
    In their attempt to defend philosophy from accusations of uselessness made by prominent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, some philosophers respond with the charge of ‘scientism.’ This charge makes endorsing a scientistic stance, a mistake by definition. For this reason, it begs the question against these critics of philosophy, or anyone who is inclined to endorse a scientistic stance, and turns the scientism debate into a verbal dispute. In this paper, I propose a different definition of scientism, and thus a (...)
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  • Philosophy’s gender gap and argumentative arena: an empirical study.Moti Mizrahi & Michael Adam Dickinson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-34.
    While the empirical evidence pointing to a gender gap in professional, academic philosophy in the English-speaking world is widely accepted, explanations of this gap are less so. In this paper, we aim to make a modest contribution to the literature on the gender gap in academic philosophy by taking a quantitative, corpus-based empirical approach. Since some philosophers have suggested that it may be the argumentative, “logic-chopping,” and “paradox-mongering” nature of academic philosophy that explains the underrepresentation of women in the discipline, (...)
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  • Philosophical reasoning about science: a quantitative, digital study.Moti Mizrahi & Michael Adam Dickinson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    In this paper, we set out to investigate the following question: if science relies heavily on induction, does philosophy of science rely heavily on induction as well? Using data mining and text analysis methods, we study a large corpus of philosophical texts mined from the JSTOR database (n = 14,199) in order to answer this question empirically. If philosophy of science relies heavily on induction, just as science supposedly does, then we would expect to find significantly more inductive arguments than (...)
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  • The analytic-continental divide in philosophical practice: An empirical study.Moti Mizrahi & Mike Dickinson - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (5):668-680.
    Philosophy is often divided into two traditions: analytic and continental philosophy. Characterizing the analytic-continental divide, however, is no easy task. Some philosophers explain the divide in terms of the place of argument in these traditions. This raises the following questions: Is analytic philosophy rife with arguments while continental philosophy is devoid of arguments? Or can different types of arguments be found in analytic and continental philosophy? This paper presents the results of an empirical study of a large corpus of philosophical (...)
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  • Is Philosophy Exceptional? A Corpus-Based, Quantitative Study.Moti Mizrahi & Michael Adam Dickinson - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Drawing on the epistemology of logic literature on anti-exceptionalism about logic, we set out to investigate the following metaphilosophical questions empirically: Is philosophy special? Are its methods (dis)continuous with science? More specifically, we test the following metaphilosophical hypotheses empirically: philosophical deductivism, philosophical inductivism, and philosophical abductivism. Using indicator words to classify arguments by type (namely, deductive, inductive, and abductive arguments), we searched through a large corpus of philosophical texts mined from the JSTOR database (n = 435,703) to find patterns of (...)
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  • Argument, Inference, and Persuasion.Matthew William McKeon - 2021 - Argumentation 35 (2):339-356.
    This paper distinguishes between two types of persuasive force arguments can have in terms of two different connections between arguments and inferences. First, borrowing from Pinto, an arguer's invitation to inference directly persuades an addressee if the addressee performs an inference that the arguer invites. This raises the question of how invited inferences are determined by an invitation to inference. Second, borrowing from Sorenson, an arguer's invitation to inference indirectly persuades an addressee if the addressee performs an inference guided by (...)
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  • Three Recalcitrant Problems of Argument Identification.Michael E. Malone - 2003 - Informal Logic 23 (3):237-261.
    Logicians disagree on (1) criteria for the presence of an argument, (2) criteria for adding implicit premises and (3) criteria for linking premises. I attempt to resolve all three problems, and in the process to remove the main obstacles to teaching diagramming. The first problem is resolved by working with real discourse that students find on their own, rather than the artificial examples and problems found in logic texts; it is further reduced by examining the different uses of argument and (...)
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  • Intuitionism and Nihilism.David Kaspar - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):319-336.
    Intuitionism and nihilism, according to nihilists, have key features in common: the same semantics and the same phenomenology. Intuitionism is the object of nihilism’s attack. The central charge nihilism lodges against intuitionism is that its nonnatural moral properties are queer. Here I’ll examine what ‘queer’ might mean in relation to the doctrines nihilism uses to support this charge. My investigation reveals that nihilism’s queerness charge lacks substance and resembles a tautology served with a frown. There’s really nothing to it. After (...)
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  • An Informal Logic Bibliography.Hans V. Hansen - 1990 - Informal Logic 12 (3).
  • Reasoning by grounded analogy.John Grey & David Godden - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5419-5453.
    Analogical reasoning projects a property taken to hold of something or things to something else on the basis of just those similarities premised in the analogy. Standard similarity-based accounts of analogical reasoning face the question: Under what conditions does a collection of similarities sufficiently warrant analogical projection? One answer is: When a thing’s having the premised similarities somehow determines its having the projected property. Standardly, this answer has been interpreted as claiming that a formally defined determination relation exists between the (...)
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  • The 'Most Important and Fundamental' Distinction in Logic.G. C. Goddu - 2002 - Informal Logic 22 (1).
    In this paper I argue that the debate over the purported distinction between deductive and inductive arguments can be bypassed because making the distinction is unnecessary for successfully evaluating arguments. I provide a foundation for doing logic that makes no appeal to the distinction and still performs all the relevant tasks required of an analysis of arguments. I also reply to objections to the view that we can dispense with the distinction. Finally, I conclude that the distinction between inductive and (...)
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  • How close to Hegel is ‘close’? Revisiting Lawlor on Derrida's Early Logic.Dino Galetti - 2014 - Derrida Today 7 (2):197-224.
    This article aims to restore a way to approach Derrida by revisiting the essentialist ‘logic’ that Leonard Lawlor put forward in 2002. Lawlor argues that the early Derrida developed a ‘logic of totality’ from Hyppolite's reading of Hegel, which formed the basis for a ‘logic of contamination’ and différance; moreover, Lawlor demonstrated such progress. We will situate his implicit premises before following his sequential argument, and thus isolate how Lawlor is aware that Derrida disputes Hyppolite's basic premises and outcomes, so (...)
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  • Does play constitute the good life? Suits and Aristotle on autotelicity and living well.Francisco Javier Lopez Frías - 2020 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (2):168-182.
    Bernard Suits’ account of play as an autotelic activity has been greatly influential in the philosophy of sport. Suits borrows the notion of ‘autotelicity’ from Aristotle’s ethics, formulating diff...
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  • Can Religious Arguments "Persuade"?Jennifer Faust - 2008 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 63 (1-3):71-86.
    In his famous essay "The Ethics of Belief," William K. Clifford claimed "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." ). One might claim that a corollary to Clifford's Law is that it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to withhold belief when faced with sufficient evidence. Seeming to operate on this principle, many religious philosophers—from St. Anselm to Alvin Plantinga—have claimed that non-believers are psychologically or cognitively deficient if they refuse to believe (...)
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  • Can religious arguments persuade?Jennifer Faust - 2008 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 63 (1-3):71-86.
    In his famous essay "The Ethics of Belief," William K. Clifford claimed "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." ). One might claim that a corollary to Clifford's Law is that it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to withhold belief when faced with sufficient evidence. Seeming to operate on this principle, many religious philosophers—from St. Anselm to Alvin Plantinga—have claimed that non-believers are psychologically or cognitively deficient if they refuse to believe (...)
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  • Loogikavigade lubatavusest.Jüri Eintalu - 2008 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 1 (3):29-42.
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  • Leviathan leashed: The incoherence of absolute sovereign power.Paul R. DeHart - 2013 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 25 (1):1-37.
    Early modern theorists linked the idea of sovereign power to a conception of absolute power developed during the medieval period. Ockham had reframed the already extant distinction between God's absolute and ordained powers in order to argue that God was free of moral constraint in ordaining natural law for human beings. Thus, the natural law could command the opposite of what God had ordained if He wished to make it so. Bodin extended Ockham's argument to earthly sovereigns, who do not (...)
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  • The Last Straw Fallacy: Another Causal Fallacy and Its Harmful Effects.Carolyn Cusick & Mark Peter - 2015 - Argumentation 29 (4):457-474.
    We have noticed a pattern of arguments that exhibit a type of irrationality or a particular informal logical fallacy that is not fully captured by any existing fallacy. This fallacy can be explored through three examples where one misattributes a cause by focusing on a smaller portion of a larger set—specifically, the last or least known—and claiming that that cause holds a unique priority over other contributing factors for the occurrence of an event. We propose to call this fallacy the (...)
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  • Argumentation and the problem of agreement.John Casey & Scott F. Aikin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    A broad assumption in argumentation theory is that argumentation primarily regards resolving, confronting, or managing disagreement. This assumption is so fundamental that even when there does not appear to be any real disagreement, the disagreement is suggested to be present at some other level. Some have questioned this assumption, but most are reluctant to give up on the key idea that persuasion, the core of argumentation theory, can only regard disagreements. We argue here that this assumption is false. Argument may (...)
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  • The Whole Truth about Partial Truth Tables.Keith Burgess-Jackson - 2020 - Open Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):192-219.
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  • Four basic logical issues.Ross Brady & Penelope Rush - 2009 - Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (3):488-508.
    Four Basic Logical Issues: The paper addresses what we see as the four major issues in logic. The overriding issue is that of the choice of logic. We start with some discussion of the preliminary issue of whether there is such a 'one true logic,' but we reserve the main discussion for the first issue of 'classical logic versus nonclassical logic.' Here, we discuss the role of meaning and truth, the relation between classical logic and classical negation, and whether and, (...)
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  • The probabilistic import of illatives.George Bowles & Thomas E. Gilbert - 1993 - Argumentation 7 (3):247-262.
    It is not only overtly probabilistic illatives like ‘makes it certain that’ but also apparently non-probabilistic ones like ‘therefore’ that have probabilistic import. Illatives like ‘therefore’ convey the meaning that the premise confers on the conclusion a probability not only greater than 0 but also greater than 1/2. But because they do not say whether that probability is equal to or less than 1, these illatives are appropriately called ‘neutral’.
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  • Affirming the consequent.George Bowles - 1996 - Argumentation 10 (4):429-444.
    The thesis of this paper is that an argument's possessing the form of affirming the consequent does not suffice to make its premises at all favorably relevant to its conclusion. In support of this thesis I assume two premises and argue for a third. My two assumptions are these: (1) that an argument's possessing the form of affirming the consequent does not suffice to make its conclusion certain relative to its premises (this is widely, if not universally, acknowledged by writers (...)
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  • New Textualism: The Potholes Ahead.Gregory Bassham & Ian Oakley - 2015 - Ratio Juris 28 (1):127-148.
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  • Tu Quoque Arguments and the Significance of Hypocrisy.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Informal Logic 28 (2):155-169.
    Though textbook tu quoque arguments are fallacies of relevance, many versions of arguments from hypocrisy are indirectly relevant to the issue. Some arguments from hypocrisy are challenges to the authority of a speaker on the basis of either her sincerity or competency regarding the issue. Other arguments from hypocrisy purport to be evidence of the impracticability of the opponent’s proposals. Further, some versions of hypocrisy charges from impracticability are open to a counter that I will term tu quoque judo.
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  • Straw Men, Weak Men, and Hollow Men.Scott F. Aikin & John Casey - 2011 - Argumentation 25 (1):87-105.
    Three forms of the straw man fallacy are posed: the straw, weak, and hollow man. Additionally, there can be non-fallacious cases of any of these species of straw man arguments.
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  • Pregnant Premise Arguments.Scott F. Aikin - 2012 - Informal Logic 32 (3):357-363.
  • Set Theory INC# Based on Intuitionistic Logic with Restricted Modus Ponens Rule (Part. I).Jaykov Foukzon - 2021 - Journal of Advances in Mathematics and Computer Science 36 (2):73-88.
    In this article Russell’s paradox and Cantor’s paradox resolved successfully using intuitionistic logic with restricted modus ponens rule.
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