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Philosophy

1999

University of Windsor

Articles 1 - 30 of 122

Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Prejudice, Prudence And Fairness, Jean-Pierre Schachter May 1999

Prejudice, Prudence And Fairness, Jean-Pierre Schachter

OSSA Conference Archive

There exists reasoning popularly characterized as "prejudiced" that may nevertheless be both sound and prudential, and this reasoning involves the application of exactly the same inductive correlational strategies applied without moral objection in non -human cases. While such reasoning may be rationally unobjectionable, it may yet be morally objectionable because its methods inherently entail a risk of unfairness to others. This raises the interesting philosophical possibility that arguments may be a ppraised and found wanting on other than rational grounds, that arguments may be subject to moral defects in addition to defects of rationality.


Augustus De Morgan On Fallacy: Pettyfoggers And Controversialists, Marie Secor May 1999

Augustus De Morgan On Fallacy: Pettyfoggers And Controversialists, Marie Secor

OSSA Conference Archive

Augustus DeMorgan wrote an influential nineteenth-century treatise on logic, Formal Logic: The Calculus of Inference, Necessary and Probable, whose treatment of fallacy contributes significantly to the conversation carried on from Bentham to Alf red Sidgwick. Representing fallacy as concerning only inferential processes, DeMorgan focuses on ambiguous matters where it is difficult to determine whether the error resides in the matter or the form. His unpacking of terminological slipperiness and t actical maneuvering pushes his discussion from the logical towards the rhetorical. This study of nineteenth-century fallacy theory identifies logic's rhetorical turn and pulls out a strand connecting the histories ...


The Paradoxical Associated Conditional Of Enthymemes, Gilbert Plumer May 1999

The Paradoxical Associated Conditional Of Enthymemes, Gilbert Plumer

OSSA Conference Archive

Expressing a widely-held view, Hitchcock claims that "an enthymematic argument ... assumes at least the truth of the argument's associated conditional ... whose antecedent is the conjunction of the argument's explicit premises and whose consequent is t he argument's conclusion." But even definitionally, this view is problematic, since an argument's being enthymematic or incomplete with respect to its explicit premises means that the conclusion is not implied by these premises alone. The paper attempts to specify the ways in which the view is incorrect, as well as correct (e.g., the case of a modus ponens wherein the ...


A Problem In The One-Fallacy Theory, Lawrence H. Powers May 1999

A Problem In The One-Fallacy Theory, Lawrence H. Powers

OSSA Conference Archive

According to the one-fallacy theory, the only real fallacy is equivocation. In particular, the fallacy of incomplete evidence draws a conclusion inductively from parts of our evidence while ignoring other parts of it which undermine the conclusion. T his is an equivocation on the relative term 'probable': the conclusion is probable relative to a part of our evidence but not relative to the whole of it. Unfortunately, this view is not entirely consistent with my meta-theory of fallacies which allows t hat some failures of rationality are errors simply in inductive reasoning rather than being equivocations.


Layered Protocols In Coalescent Argumentation, Allan Randall May 1999

Layered Protocols In Coalescent Argumentation, Allan Randall

OSSA Conference Archive

A goal-oriented analysis of argument is presented based on Taylor's layered protocols, a theory of communication based on Powers' hierarchical perceptual control theory. Goals and beliefs are hierarchical, related in a precise way to sensory inputs an d motor outputs. This model is combined with Gilbert's theory of coalescent argumentation. Participants sketch out their own and their partner's goal diagrams as an aid to resolving the argument. For this to work, the argument must be viewed, not in pu rely linguistic or logical terms, but in terms of the entire system of goals in which it is ...


The Liar Paradox As A Reductio Ad Absurdum Argument, Menashe Schwed May 1999

The Liar Paradox As A Reductio Ad Absurdum Argument, Menashe Schwed

OSSA Conference Archive

This presentation traces an historical root of the reductio ad absurdum mode of argumentation in Greek philosophy. I propose a new understanding of the liar paradox as an instance of this mode of argumentation. I show that the paradox was crea ted as part of a refutational argument in the controversy over the justification of realism and the realists concepts of truth and certainty. The paradox was part of the dialectical style of Greek scepticism, which was characterized, inter alia, by the u se of the reductio ad absurdum. The paradox turns out to be a metaphysical and epistemological argument.


Argument Quality And Cultural Difference, Harvey Siegel May 1999

Argument Quality And Cultural Difference, Harvey Siegel

OSSA Conference Archive

Argumentation theorists typically conceive argument goodness in terms of an argument's provision of reasons for its conclusion which are such that fair-minded appraisal suggests that it ought to be accepted by all who so appraise it. This conception o f argument quality makes no reference to either the persons appraising the argument, or the context of the appraisal. Much recent work rejects such an abstract, impersonal notion of argument goodness, with some theorists emphasizing the importance of cul tural difference in argument appraisal. While there is much merit in this perspective, the multiculturalist argument against impersonal, acontextualist conceptions of ...


Hermeneutics, Rhetoric And Informal Logic, Elizabeth Skakoon May 1999

Hermeneutics, Rhetoric And Informal Logic, Elizabeth Skakoon

OSSA Conference Archive

In this paper, I re-examine the connection Hans-Georg Gadamer made between hermeneutics and the rhetorical tradition in light of recent developments in informal logic. Originally, Gadamer made this connection between hermeneutics and rhetoric because both use the theoretical tools of persuasion and acceptance in contrast to scientific objective methodology. Since this association, another possibility has arisen; informal logic. Using the writings of Ralph Johnson, I outline the difference between in formal logic and rhetoric, and suggest that after an analyses of these differences, informal logic appears to be closer to hermeneutics in its overall structure and telos than rhetoric.


Power And Topic Shifts In Strategic Management Argumentation, John A A Sillince May 1999

Power And Topic Shifts In Strategic Management Argumentation, John A A Sillince

OSSA Conference Archive

The paper examines a transcript of a meeting at a large acute hospital. Conflict is avoided by means of topic shifting. Initially topics range over items about which agreement exists--the establishment of common ground. More urgent and more certain things get discussed first. Agreement and therefore finishing of a topic are signaled merely by moving on to the next topic. Conflict is avoided by use of dilemmas to identify potential agreements.


Theoretic Bondage: Coalescent Argumentation And Higher-Order Goals, Denise Tayler May 1999

Theoretic Bondage: Coalescent Argumentation And Higher-Order Goals, Denise Tayler

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper will critically evaluate Pragma-Dialectics and Michael Gilbert's coalescent view of argumentation from a feminist-emancipatory perspective. Pragma-Dialecticians hold to higher-order goals such as the equality of arguers, and assume that the ir ideal model will function well under these conditions. But by not directly addressing arguments in situations of power imbalance, the pragma-dialectical model overlooks the possibility that it reinforces inequality and restricts expression. Gilbert's work on alternative argumentation modes diffuses the oppressive tendencies of the Pragma-Dialectical model, and may further higher-order ideals.


But That Simply Isn't True; Rethinking Truth In Argumentation, Wouter H. Slob May 1999

But That Simply Isn't True; Rethinking Truth In Argumentation, Wouter H. Slob

OSSA Conference Archive

Since the dialectical turn in logic, truth has been replaced by acceptability. The latter notion, however, does not provide for a strong enough constraint. It is thought that only truth can overrule acceptability, and for that reason we need to reass ess the notion. Still, truth is a confusing philosophical concept, and we should be clear as to which understanding of the notion can do the job. I shall argue that a correspondence theory of truth in particular will not do. Rather we should adopt a de flationary account: all we need is a suitable understanding of the truth-predicate.


Bakhtin's Dialogism And Argumentation Perspectives, Viktor Tchouechov May 1999

Bakhtin's Dialogism And Argumentation Perspectives, Viktor Tchouechov

OSSA Conference Archive

Today, dialogism has become a commonplace in argumentation analysis. Bakhtin distinguishes two kinds of humanitarian methodology--monologism and dialogism. Monologism is connected with the nature of subject-object and object-object epistemological an d ontological relationships. Analysing monologism, Bakhtin had come to distinguish between two kinds of dialectics--monological dialectics and dialogical dialectics. Bakhtin thought that it was possible to form not only various kinds of dialectics but a lso dialogisms; for example, the synchronic or interactive dialogism of Dostoyevsky and the diachronic or dialectical dialogism of Bakhtin himself.


Are All The Pragma-Dialectical Rules Pragmatic?, Christopher M. Thomson May 1999

Are All The Pragma-Dialectical Rules Pragmatic?, Christopher M. Thomson

OSSA Conference Archive

From a pragma-dialectical perspective, argumentation rules do not receive their normative import from any "metaphysical necessity." They are, pragmatically speaking, binding only to the extent that reasonable participants regard them as useful for res olving disputes. This may be misleading with regard to the second pragma-dialectical rule relating to the burden of proof. If the obligation to defend a proffered standpoint is a constitutive rule of competent speech, then the obligation denoted by the burden of proof is more binding upon speakers than a pragmatic approach to the subject would have us believe.


Does Informal Logic Have Anything To Learn From Fuzzy Logic?, John Woods May 1999

Does Informal Logic Have Anything To Learn From Fuzzy Logic?, John Woods

OSSA Conference Archive

Probability theory is the arithmetic of the real line constrained by special aleatory axioms. Fuzzy logic is also a kind of probability theory, but of considerably more mathematical and axiomatic complexity than the standard account. Fuzzy logic purp orts to model the human capacity for reasoning with inexact concepts. It does this by exploring the assumption that when we argue in inexact terms and draw inferences in imprecise vocabularies, we actually make computations about the embedded imprecision s. I argue that this is in fact the last thing that we do, and indeed that we do the opposite.


What About The Context?, Igor Z. Zagar May 1999

What About The Context?, Igor Z. Zagar

OSSA Conference Archive

For quite some time now the French linguist Oswald Ducrot has been trying to develop a new theory of argumentation in the language-system (TAL), a theory that explores the argumentative potential of language as a system. In this paper I will try to sh ow how--from the standpoint of TAL--the role of co(n)text in linguistic analysis is often overestimated. The basic features of the co(n)text are already given by the utterance itself: co(n)text does not (re)interpret a given utterance, but the utterance in many respects, creates the co(n)text.


Argumentation Topoi And South Africa's Truth And Reconciliation Committee, Johannes N. Vorster, Pieter J J Botha May 1999

Argumentation Topoi And South Africa's Truth And Reconciliation Committee, Johannes N. Vorster, Pieter J J Botha

OSSA Conference Archive

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) is a constitutional body dealing with South Africa's history of human rights abuses. A commitment to forms of religio-political language is evident in the stories presented to the TRC and in subsequent repo rts. The relationship between this religio-political language and a moral civil society is explored by analysing religious topoi in discourses reflecting the TRC's activities. Religious justification and evaluation of actions are not noticeable whilst m oral implications and assessment are often left implicit. Possibly there is continuation rather than intervention in the value systems generating these topoi.


Commentary On Benjafield, James & Saroka, Robert C. Pinto May 1999

Commentary On Benjafield, James & Saroka, Robert C. Pinto

OSSA Conference Archive

No abstract provided.


Commentary On Blair, James B. Freeman May 1999

Commentary On Blair, James B. Freeman

OSSA Conference Archive

No abstract provided.


Fallacies And The Concept Of An Argument, Dale Turner May 1999

Fallacies And The Concept Of An Argument, Dale Turner

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper argues that recent theoretical attempts to understand fallacious reasoning fail because these theories presuppose problematic accounts of the nature of argument. The paper outlines an alternative view of fallacious reasoning based on Wright 's recent work on the concept of an argument. This alternative view suggests that fallacious reasoning results from a kind of incompetence. Such failures of competence, however, are not nearly as common as traditional accounts of fallacious reasoning su ggests. Moreover, the very possibility of being tempted by fallacious reasoning depends on our being very competent in normal cases.


The Functional Nature Of Argument Revisited, Lev G. Vassiliev May 1999

The Functional Nature Of Argument Revisited, Lev G. Vassiliev

OSSA Conference Archive

Semantically coherent and functionally independent argumentative complexes in a text are called units of argumentation. A unit is a complex of composites performing argumentative functions--elements of argumentation. Functions are only established at the level of their unit. From an enthymematic point of view, the composition of a unit can be minimal, nominal and maximal, these having to do with primary and secondary functions. From an argumentation textual composition angle, a step and a move of a rgumentation are distinguished. A step corresponds to a unit. A move is composed of steps. Steps function as grounds at the textual level.


The Deer Hunter Paradox, Paul Viminitz May 1999

The Deer Hunter Paradox, Paul Viminitz

OSSA Conference Archive

In the first Russian Roulette scene in the Deer Hunter, do the circumstances giving rise to Mike's and Nick's "rebellion" merely document Kahneman-Tversky-type glitches in the reasoning of their Vietcong captors, or does the scene also reveal a genuine inadequacy in our current understanding of interactive rationality--the resolution of which would have profound implications for rational choice theory and its myriad applications? I argue the latter.


Commentary On Bailin, Michael A. Gilbert May 1999

Commentary On Bailin, Michael A. Gilbert

OSSA Conference Archive

No abstract provided.


Commentary On Andrews, Deborah Berril May 1999

Commentary On Andrews, Deborah Berril

OSSA Conference Archive

No abstract provided.


Cicero's Authority, Jean Goodwin May 1999

Cicero's Authority, Jean Goodwin

OSSA Conference Archive

In this paper I propose to continue the analysis of the appeal to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam) begun at the last OSSA conference. I proceed by examining the well-documented use of the appeal made by the ancient Roman advocate, Cicero. The fact that Cicero expressed his opinion was expectably sufficient to give his auditors--responsible citizens all--reason to do as he desired. But why? The resolution of this puzzle points to a strong sense in which arguments can be called rhetorical , for the rational force of Cicero's authority depends necessarily on what he says.


Does An Appeal To Tradition Rest On Mistaken Reasoning?, Jim Gough May 1999

Does An Appeal To Tradition Rest On Mistaken Reasoning?, Jim Gough

OSSA Conference Archive

Various logic texts offer explanations of a fallacy identified as an appeal to tradition. The identification of this fallacy should be scrutinized for any faulty reasoning. Whether this fallacy is committed depends on the kind of relation asserted be tween the present and the past. An understanding of its relations clarifies when an appeal to tradition could be fallacious. This is illustrated by the views of Socrates, Bentham, Scruton, and others. I argue tradition transfers something from the past to the present. Whether the transfer is fallacious depends on what and how something is transferred.


Seduction As Deduction: Persuasion As Deductive Argument, Leo Groarke May 1999

Seduction As Deduction: Persuasion As Deductive Argument, Leo Groarke

OSSA Conference Archive

Both 'persuasion' and 'rational convincing' play a major role in argumentative discourse but only the latter is said to constitute argument and be amenable to traditional logical analysis. I argue against this assumption by showing that there are many paradigmatic instances of persuasion which are best understood as implicit arguments. So understood, acts of persuasion can conform to well recognized argument schemata and are best assessed accordingly. I shall argue that the attempt to distinguish arg ument and persuasion is fraught with difficulties. I contrast my conclusions with those of authors like Gilbert, Johnson, and Johnson and Blair.


Alfred Sidgwick's 'Rogative' Approach To Argumentation, Flemming Steen Nielsen May 1999

Alfred Sidgwick's 'Rogative' Approach To Argumentation, Flemming Steen Nielsen

OSSA Conference Archive

Few, if any, logicians deserve the title 'precursor of modern argumentation theory' more than the largely neglected English logician, Alfred Sidgwick (1850-1943). Sidgwick developed a coherent and original theory of argumentation with a distinctly 'mo dern' flavour. This paper outlines his idea of a 'negative' view of logic, an important aspect of which is the thesis that the distinctions and inference schemata of formal logic should not be applied as criteria of the validity or invalidity of natural language arguments, but rather 'rogatively'--as suggesting the kinds of objections or demands for clarification that are relevant at specific stages of ...


Mutual Reconstruction Of Arguments In Dialogue, Niels Moeller Nielsen May 1999

Mutual Reconstruction Of Arguments In Dialogue, Niels Moeller Nielsen

OSSA Conference Archive

Analyzing argumentative discourse is not a an activity exclusively reserved for scholars in argumentation theory, rhetoric, and philosophy of language. This paper proposes that the faculty of analyzing argument structure is a basic precondition of und erstanding one another in argumentational interactions. Based on an examination of televised debates, it is demonstrated how participants employ quasi-logical schemata to reconstruct implicit elements in other participants's argument structures for purpo ses of clarification and criticism. This very descriptive approach entrusts, as it were, the actual argument analysis to the language users themselves.


Aristotle's Topics And Informal Reasoning, Joseph Novak May 1999

Aristotle's Topics And Informal Reasoning, Joseph Novak

OSSA Conference Archive

The modern tradition of informal logic has relied heavily on accepting, modifying, or criticizing the patterns of reasoning mentioned in Aristotle's Sophistical Refutations. However, already in 1971, Stachowiak focussed his attention on the muc h neglected Topics and enumerated in his work, Rationalismus im Ursprung some of the Aristotelian rules governing the formation of definitions and principles for correct reasoning. The paper will try to examine how these principles might ap ply to informal arguments today.


Logical Form And The Link Between Premise And Conclusion, Robert C. Pinto May 1999

Logical Form And The Link Between Premise And Conclusion, Robert C. Pinto

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper challenges the idea that purely formal or syntactic concepts can, in general, supply criteria for certifying that the premisses of arguments and inferences support their conclusions. It will maintain that neither deductively valid arguments nor inductively strong arguments can, in general, be identified by their logical form. The paper will attempt to clarify the role that patterns play in appraising arguments. Using argument schemas as an example, it will try to show that the identification of patterns can facilitate appraisal even when those patterns do not supply criter ia (sufficient or even necessary conditions) of support.