A probabilistic analysis of argument cogency

Synthese 195 (4):1715-1740 (2018)

Authors
David Godden
Michigan State University
Abstract
This paper offers a probabilistic treatment of the conditions for argument cogency as endorsed in informal logic: acceptability, relevance, and sufficiency. Treating a natural language argument as a reason-claim-complex, our analysis identifies content features of defeasible argument on which the RSA conditions depend, namely: change in the commitment to the reason, the reason’s sensitivity and selectivity to the claim, one’s prior commitment to the claim, and the contextually determined thresholds of acceptability for reasons and for claims. Results contrast with, and may indeed serve to correct, the informal understanding and applications of the RSA criteria concerning their conceptual dependence, their function as update-thresholds, and their status as obligatory rather than permissive norms, but also show how these formal and informal normative approachs can in fact align.
Keywords acceptability  argument appraisal  Bayes Theorem  informal logic  Jeffrey conditionalization  relevance  sifficiency
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1299-2
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References found in this work BETA

Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
Manifest Rationality.Ralph Johnson - 2000 - Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
A Practical Study of Argument.Trudy Govier - 1991 - Wadsworth Pub. Co..

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A Dialogue Model of Belief.Douglas Walton - 2010 - Argument and Computation 1 (1):23-46.

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