Argumentation 30 (4):501-525 (2016)

David Botting
De La Salle University (PhD)
Why informal logic? Informal logic is a group of proposals meant to contrast with, replace, and reject formal logic, at least for the analysis and evaluation of everyday arguments. Why reject formal logic? Formal logic is criticized and claimed to be inadequate because of its commitment to the soundness doctrine. In this paper I will examine and try to respond to some of these criticisms. It is not my aim to examine every argument ever given against formal logic; I am limiting myself to those that, as a matter of historical fact, were instrumental in the replacement of formal logic by informal logic and initially established informal logic as a separate discipline. If the criticism of the soundness doctrine is defective, then the move from formal logic to informal logic was not theoretically well-motivated. It is this motivation that I wish to bring into question, rather than the adequacy or inadequacy of formal or informal logic as such. While I will tend to the view that formal logic is as adequate as it is reasonable to expect, the real issue is whether it is inadequate for the reasons that, as a matter of historical fact, were used to motivate its rejection.
Keywords Informal logic  Formal logic  Soundness doctrine  Ralph Johnson
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-015-9391-1
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References found in this work BETA

Fallacies.C. L. Hamblin - 1970 - Vale Press.
A Practical Study of Argument.Trudy Govier - 1991 - Wadsworth Pub. Co..
Challenge and Response: Justification in Ethics.Carl Wellman - 1971 - Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Informal Logic: A Pragmatic Approach.Douglas Walton - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.

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