Argument, Inference, and Persuasion

Argumentation 35 (2):339-356 (2020)
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This paper distinguishes between two types of persuasive force arguments can have in terms of two different connections between arguments and inferences. First, borrowing from Pinto, an arguer's invitation to inference directly persuades an addressee if the addressee performs an inference that the arguer invites. This raises the question of how invited inferences are determined by an invitation to inference. Second, borrowing from Sorenson, an arguer's invitation to inference indirectly persuades an addressee if the addressee performs an inference guided by the argument even though it is uninvited. This raises the question of how an invitation to inference can guide inferences that the arguer does not use the argument to invite. Focusing on belief-inducing inference, the primary aims here are to clarify what is necessary for an addressee's belief-inducing inference to be invited by an argument used as an instrument of persuasion; and to highlight the capacity of arguments to guide such inferences. The paper moves beyond Pinto's discussion by using Boghossian's Taking Condition in service of and in way that illustrates how epistemically bad arguments can rationally persuade addressees of their conclusions.



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Matthew W. McKeon
Michigan State University

Citations of this work

Carroll’s Regress Times Three.Gilbert Plumer - 2023 - Acta Analytica 38 (4):551-571.

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References found in this work

Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
A practical study of argument.Trudy Govier - 1991 - Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co..
An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic: From If to Is.Graham Priest - 2008 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
What is inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.

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