Pragmatics and Cognition 18 (2):365-396 (2010)

In this paper we show how some reasoning, though fallacious, can appear to be attractive and useful for beings-like-us. Although they do not provide conclusive evidence to support or reject a certain claim the way scientific statements do, they tell us something interesting about how humans build up their arguments and reasons. First of all, we will consider and investigate three main types of fallacies: argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad verecundiam, and argumentum ad populum. These three fallacies are traditionally considered as examples of a broader category called ignoratio elenchi. Secondly, we show how people who commit these fallacies rely on information about other human beings in their reasoning. That is, they do not follow certain logical procedures that eventually lead them to correct conclusions. But they simply make use of others as social characters. For example, being an authority, being an expert, being part of a class, etc., become the substitutes for more direct evidence to support a certain claim or to make an argument more appealing.
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DOI 10.1075/pc.18.2.06bar
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Naturalizing Logic.Lorenzo Magnani - 2015 - Journal of Applied Logic 13 (1):13-36.
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