Denying antecedents and affirming consequents: The state of the art

Informal Logic 35 (1):88-134 (2015)
Authors
David Godden
Michigan State University
Frank Zenker
Lund University
Abstract
Recent work on conditional reasoning argues that denying the antecedent [DA] and affirming the consequent [AC] are defeasible but cogent patterns of argument, either because they are effective, rational, albeit heuristic applications of Bayesian probability, or because they are licensed by the principle of total evidence. Against this, we show that on any prevailing interpretation of indicative conditionals the premises of DA and AC arguments do not license their conclusions without additional assumptions. The cogency of DA and AC inferences rather depends on contingent factors extrinsic to, and independent of, what is asserted by DA and AC arguments. arguments do not license their conclusions without additional assumptions. The cogency of DA and AC inferences rather depends on contingent factors extrinsic to, and independent of, what is asserted by DA and AC arguments
Keywords total evidence  fallacy  affirming the consequent  conditional perfection  denying the antecedent  heuristics  Bayesian probability
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DOI 10.22329/il.v35i1.4173
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