Informal Logic: Issues and Techniques by Wayne Grennan

By Wayne Grennan

This critique of casual common sense and demanding considering recommendations and strategies examines argument assessment suggestions getting used in either formal and casual good judgment texts and, discovering them missing, proposes a brand new approach for evaluate. This assessment is predicated on standards - logical adequacy and pragmatic adequacy for comparing daily arguments. The paintings asserts that the typical formal good judgment platforms, whereas logically sound, aren't very priceless for comparing daily inferences, that are just about all deductively invalid as acknowledged. Turning to casual good judgment, it really is mentioned that whereas more moderen casual common sense and demanding pondering texts are enhanced in that their authors realize that daily arguments are inductive, they often conceal merely inductive fallacies, ignoring the inductively sound styles used often in winning persuasion. To redress those difficulties, the textual content introduces quite a few extra inductive styles. Concluding that casual common sense texts don't inspire precision in comparing arguments, a brand new argument evaluate technique is proposed, person who expresses judgments of inferential power by way of possibilities. in response to theories of Stephen Toulmin, Roderick Chisholm, and John Pollock, the proposed approach makes use of a probability-based score scheme to reach at a extra particular judgment of the persuasive strength of arguments.

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Extra resources for Informal Logic: Issues and Techniques

Sample text

This is typical of almost all texts in this genre. Relative to simple arguments, those containing a single inference, it is a "rough and ready" but workable procedure. But it is not likely to be reliable when applied to extended arguments. 3 Premiss Evaluation. As for premiss evaluation, the four texts represent two distinct approaches. Kahane and Johnson and Blair use a fallacy approach. Kahane discusses eight premiss fallacies. The same philosophy is relied on as for inference evaluation: the inability to detect a fallacy is considered to be a good ground for accepting a premiss.

If the statement A is supposed to imply statement B, try to think of cases where A would be true but B would be either definitely false or unlikely" (Scriven 1976, 44). " (Thomas 1973, 71-2). While the counterexampling strategy for inference evaluation is logically sound, these writers do not develop it to make it really useful. This is probably explained by their belief that applying it in practice "is an exercise in imagination" (Scriven 1976, 44) and cannot be made into a mechanical procedure because we are evaluating content rather than form.

I have found from teaching experience that students tend to become pessimistic about the use of argument for persuasion. They unconsciously come to believe that every argument proffered to them has a serious flaw. When faced in a test situation with arguments to evaluate, some of which are acceptable and some not, they frequently allege that the acceptable ones commit fallacies. The fallacy approach, I think, tends to create the presumption that any given argument is defective and that it is to be accepted only after we fail to spot a defect.

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