A Bayesian Approach to Informal Argument Fallacies

  title={A Bayesian Approach to Informal Argument Fallacies},
  author={Ulrike Hahn and Mike Oaksford},
We examine in detail three classic reasoning fallacies, that is, supposedly ``incorrect'' forms of argument. These are the so-called argumentam ad ignorantiam, the circular argument or petitio principii, and the slippery slope argument. In each case, the argument type is shown to match structurally arguments which are widely accepted. This suggests that it is not the form of the arguments as such that is problematic but rather something about the content of those examples with which they are… 

The rationality of informal argumentation: a Bayesian approach to reasoning fallacies.

Classical informal reasoning "fallacies," for example, begging the question or arguing from ignorance, while ubiquitous in everyday argumentation, have been subject to little systematic investigation

Circular arguments, begging the question and the formalization of argument strength

Recently Oaksford and Hahn (2004) proposed a Bayesian reconstruction of a classic argumentation fallacy - Locke’s ‘argument from ignorance.’ Here this account is extended to what is probably the

A Probability Logical Interpretation of Fallacies

This chapter presents a probability logical approach to fallacies. A special interpretation of (subjective) probability is used, which is based on coherence. Coherence provides not only a foundation

Bayesian argumentation and the pragmatic approach: Comment on Darmstadter

This paper is a comment on the recent criticism of the argumentative theory of reasoning that falsification is not always rational even in a group context because an isolated hypothesis can always be

Layered Meanings and Bayesian Argumentation: The Case of Exclusives

It is argued that the sum of meanings conveyed by an utterance cannot be fed into such models indiscriminately and that the at-issue content of an utterances prevails in its argumentative interpretation.

A probabilistic analysis of argument cogency

Results contrast with, and may indeed serve to correct, the informal understanding and applications of the RSA criteria concerning their conceptual (in)dependence, their function as update-thresholds, and their status as obligatory rather than permissive norms, but show how these formal and informal normative approachs can in fact align.

Non-monotonicity and Informal Reasoning: Comment on Ferguson (2003)

In this paper, it is argued that Ferguson’s (2003, Argumentation 17, 335–346) recent proposal to reconcile monotonic logic with defeasibility has three counterintuitive consequences. First, the

A normative framework for argument quality: argumentation schemes with a Bayesian foundation

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Logical fallacies as informational shortcuts

The paper argues that the two best known formal logical fallacies, namely denying the antecedent (DA) and affirming the consequent (AC) are not just basic and simple errors, which prove human

A Probabilistic View on Erotetic Argumentation Within Language

This paper deals with the phenomenon of erotetic argumentation, which is characterized by a speaker using premises to argue in favor of a question rather than a proposition as in standard cases of argumentation and proposes a Bayesian formalisation for these properties.



A Bayesian approach to the argument from ignorance.

  • M. OaksfordU. Hahn
  • Philosophy
    Canadian journal of experimental psychology = Revue canadienne de psychologie experimentale
  • 2004
In this paper, we re-examine a classic informal reasoning fallacy, the so-called argumentam ad ignorantiam. We argue that the structure of some versions of this argument parallels examples of

On the Theoretical Unification and Nature of Fallacies

I argue in a non-reductive sense for a plausible epistemic principle, which can (1) theoretically and instrumentally unify or systematize all fallacies, and (2) provide a justification for using such

What's Wrong with Slippery Slope Arguments?

  • T. Govier
  • Philosophy
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • 1982
Slippery slope arguments are commonly thought to be fallacious. But is there a single fallacy which they all commit? A study of applied logic texts reveals competing diagnoses of the supposed error,

Logics for Defeasible Argumentation

This chapter surveys logics for a particular group of patterns of inference, namely those where arguments for and against a certain claim are produced and evaluated, to test the tenability of the claim.

Douglas Walton, The New Dialectic. Conversational Contexts of Argument. Toronto: University of Toronto Press (Book Review)

The focus of informal logic is on natural language, real-life arguments, for instance as they occur in the media, in scientific debate or in the court room, like those involving the truth-functional connectives.

Slippery Slope Arguments and Legal Reasoning

Slippery slope arguments pervade the legal discourse. Such arguments generally hold that we should resist a particular practice or policy, either on the grounds that allowing it could lead us to

Persuasion in Practical Argument Using Value-based Argumentation Frameworks

It is shown that in a VAF certain arguments can be shown to be acceptable however the relative strengths of the values involved are assessed, which means that disputants can concur on the acceptance of arguments, even when they differ as to which values are more important, and hence that the possibility of persuasion should be possible.

The inference to the best explanation

In a situation in which several explanations compete, is the one that is better qua explanation also the one we should regard as the more likely to be true? Realists usually answer in the

Self-Dependent Justification Without Circularity

  • Tomoji Shogenji
  • Philosophy
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 2000
This paper disputes the widely held view that one cannot establish the reliability of a belief-forming process with the use of belief's that are obtained by that very process since such

A Logic for Default Reasoning

  • R. Reiter
  • Philosophy, Computer Science
    Artif. Intell.
  • 1980