Rules for Reasoning from Knowledge and Lack of Knowledge
- Douglas Walton
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
In this paper, the traditional view that argumentum ad ignorantiam is a logical fallacy is challenged, and lessons are drawn on how to model inferences drawn from knowledge in combination with ones drawn from lack of knowledge. Five defeasible rules for evaluating knowledge-based arguments that apply to inferences drawn under conditions of lack of knowledge are formulated. They are the veridicality rule, the consistency of knowledge rule, the closure of knowledge rule, the rule of refutation and the rule for argument from ignorance. The basic thesis of the paper is that knowledge-based arguments, including the argument from ignorance, need to be evaluated by criteria for epistemic closure and other evidential rules that are pragmatic in nature, that need to be formulated and applied differently at different stages of an investigation or discussion. The paper helps us to understand practical criteria that should be used to evaluate all arguments based on knowledge and/or ignorance.
- Bench-Capon, T. (1998). Specification and implementation of Toulmin dialogue game. In J. Hage et al. (Ed.), Jurix 1998: The eleventh conference (pp. 5–20). Nijmegen: Gerard Noodt Instituut.
- Branting, L. K. (2000). Reasoning with rules and precedents: A computational model of legal analysis. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.
- Collins, A., Warnock, E. H., Aiello N., & Miller M. L. (1975). Reasoning from incomplete knowledge. In D. G. Bobrow and A. Collins (Ed.), Representation and understanding (pp. 383–415). New York: Academic.
- Copi, I. M. (1982). Introduction to logic (6th ed.). New York: Macmillan.
- Coppin, B. (2004). Artificial intelligence illuminated. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett.
- Farley, A. M., & Freeman, K. (1995). Burden of proof in legal argumentation. In Proceedings of the 5th international conference on artificial intelligence and law (pp. 156–164). College Park: Maryland.
- Girle, R. (2003). Possible worlds. Chesham, England: Acumen.
- Hintikka, J. (1962). Knowledge and belief: An introduction to the logic of the two notions. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
- Konolige, K. (1988). On the relation between default and autoepistemic logic. Artificial Intelligence, 35, 343–382. CrossRef
- Leenes, R. E. (2001). Burden of proof in dialogue games and Dutch civil procedure. In Proceedings of the 8th international conference on artificial intelligence and law (pp 109–118). St. Louis, Missouri: ACM.
- Maxfield, V. A. (1981). The military decorations of the Roman army. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
- McCarthy, J. (1980). Circumscription: A form of non-monotonic reasoning. In G. F. Luger (Ed.), Computation and intelligence: Collected readings. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT.
- Meyer, J.-J., & van der Hoek, W. (1995). Epistemic logic for computer science and artificial intelligence, Cambridge tracts in theoretical Computer Science 41. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Reed, C., & Rowe, G. (2002). Araucaria: Software for puzzles in argument diagramming and XML. Technical report, Department of Applied Computing, University of Dundee.
- Reed, C., & Walton, D. (2004). Towards a formal and implemented model of argumentation schemes in agent communication. In I. Rahwan, P. Moraitis & C. Reed (Eds), Proceedings of ArgMAS 2004. Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer.
- Reiter, R. (1980). A logic for default reasoning. Artificial Intelligence, 13, 81–132. CrossRef
- Reiter, R. (1987). Nonmonotonic reasoning. Annual Review of Computer Science, 2, 147–186. CrossRef
- Rowe, G., Macagno F., Reed, C., & Walton, D. (2006). Araucaria as a tool for diagramming arguments in teaching and studying philosophy. Teaching Philosophy, 29, 111–124.
- Russell, S. J., & Norvig, P. (1995). Artificial intelligence: A modern approach. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
- Sterling, T. D., Rosenbaum, W. L., & Weinkam, J. J. (1995). Publication decisions revisited: The effect of the outcome of statistical tests on the decision to publish and vice versa. The American Statistician, 49, 108–112. CrossRef
- van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (1984). Speech acts in communicative discussions. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.
- van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (1987). Fallacies in pragma-dialectical perspective. Argumentation, 1, 283–301. CrossRef
- van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (1992). Argumentation, communication and fallacies. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Erlbaum.
- van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (2004). A systematic theory of argumentation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Walton, D. (1992). Nonfallacious arguments from ignorance. American Philosophical Quarterly, 29, 381–387.
- Walton, D. (1996). Arguments from ignorance. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.
- Walton, D. (1997). Appeal to expert opinion. University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press.
- Walton, D. (2005). Pragmatic and idealized models of knowledge and ignorance. American Philosophical Quarterly, 42, 59–69.
- Walton, D. N., & Krabbe, E. C. W. (1995). Commitment in dialogue. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
- Witte, C. L., Kerwin, A., & Witte, M. H. (1991). On the importance of ignorance in medical practice and education. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 16, 295–298.
- Rules for Reasoning from Knowledge and Lack of Knowledge
Volume 34, Issue 3 , pp 355-376
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- knowledge-based reasoning
- argument from ignorance
- burden of proof
- consistency of knowledge
- epistemic closure
- closed world assumption
- Douglas Walton (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Philosophy, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 2E9, Canada