Formal Dialectic in Fallacy Inquiry: An Unintelligible Circumscription of Argumentative Rationality? [Book Review]

Argumentation 17 (2):161-183 (2003)
Since its inception in the work on fallacies of Charles Hamblin, formal dialectic has been the object of an unparalleled level of optimism concerning the potential of its analytical contribution to fallacy inquiry. This optimism has taken the form of a rapid proliferation of formal dialectical studies of arguments in general and fallacious arguments in particular under the auspices of theorists such as Jim Mackenzie and John Woods and Douglas Walton, to name but a few. Notwithstanding the interest in, and the hopes for, a formal dialectical analysis of the fallacies, such an analysis, I will demonstrate subsequently, leads to much unintelligibility in fallacy inquiry. The context of my argument will be the philosophical views of Hilary Putnam, particularly Putnam's claim that when we theorise in relation to rationality, the unintelligibility of the conception of rationality to emerge from this theoretical process can be traced to the circumscription of rationality within this theoretical process. I charge formal dialectic with effecting a similar circumscription of argumentative rationality, a circumscription that, I will claim, is generative of unintelligibility in formal dialectical analyses of the fallacies. In this case, the context for my claims will be the formal dialectical analyses of Walton and Batten, Rescher, Hamblin, Mackenzie and Hintikka, primarily in relation to the petitio principii fallacy. My conclusion examines a number of the reasons, both historical and conceptual, which have made it seem that it is possible to fully circumscribe the notion of argumentative rationality
Keywords (argumentative) rationality  circumscription  evidential priority/precedence  formal dialectic  Hilary Putnam  metaphysical standpoint  petitio principii  Rescherian plausibility  theorising  unintelligibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1024096813605
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Elena Leonteva (2008). Rationality in General And its Specific Type. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53:163-169.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

10 ( #409,013 of 1,924,875 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,001 of 1,924,875 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.