Formal Dialectic in Fallacy Inquiry: An Unintelligible Circumscription of Argumentative Rationality?
- Louise Cummings
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Since its inception in the work on fallacies of Charles Hamblin, formal dialectic has been the object of an unparalleled level of optimism concerning the potential of its analytical contribution to fallacy inquiry. This optimism has taken the form of a rapid proliferation of formal dialectical studies of arguments in general and fallacious arguments in particular under the auspices of theorists such as Jim Mackenzie and John Woods and Douglas Walton, to name but a few. Notwithstanding the interest in, and the hopes for, a formal dialectical analysis of the fallacies, such an analysis, I will demonstrate subsequently, leads to much unintelligibility in fallacy inquiry. The context of my argument will be the philosophical views of Hilary Putnam, particularly Putnam's claim that when we theorise in relation to rationality, the unintelligibility of the conception of rationality to emerge from this theoretical process can be traced to the circumscription of rationality within this theoretical process. I charge formal dialectic with effecting a similar circumscription of argumentative rationality, a circumscription that, I will claim, is generative of unintelligibility in formal dialectical analyses of the fallacies. In this case, the context for my claims will be the formal dialectical analyses of Walton and Batten, Rescher, Hamblin, Mackenzie and Hintikka, primarily in relation to the petitio principii fallacy. My conclusion examines a number of the reasons, both historical and conceptual, which have made it seem that it is possible to fully circumscribe the notion of argumentative rationality.
- Copi, I.M.: 1986, Informal Logic, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.
- Fisher, W.R.: 1987, ‘Technical Logic, Rhetorical Logic, and Narrative Rationality’, Argumentation 1, 3-21.
- Hamblin, C.L.: 1970, Fallacies, Methuen, London.
- Hansen, H.V.: 1990, ‘An Informal Logic Bibliography’, Informal Logic 12(3), 155-184.
- Hintikka, J. and M.B. Hintikka: 1982, ‘Sherlock Holmes Confronts Modern Logic: Toward a Theory of Information-Seeking Through Questioning’, in E.M. Barth and J.L. Martens (eds.), Argumentation: Approaches to Theory Formation, Amsterdam/ John Benjamins B.V.
- Johnson, R.H. and J.A. Blair: 1985, ‘Informal Logic: The Past Five Years 1978-1983’, American Philosophical Quaterly 22(3), 181-196.
- Mackenzie, J.D.: 1979, ‘Question-Begging in Non-Cumulative Systems’, Journal of Philosophical Logic 8, 117-133.
- Meyer, M.: 1988, ‘The Rhetorical Foundation of Philosophical Argumentation’, Argumentation 2, 255-269.
- Putnam, H.: 1981, Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge University Press.
- Putnam, H.: 1983, Realism and Reason: Philosophical Papers, Volume 3, Cambridge University Press.
- Putnam, H.: 1994, Words and Life. Edited by James Conant. Harvard University Press.
- Rescher, N.: 1976, Plausible Reasoning, Van Gorcum, Assen/Amsterdam.
- Ryle, G.: 1966, Plato's Progress, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Schmidt, M.F.: 1987, ‘Fallacies: A Bibliography in Process’, Informal Logic 8(2), 105-111.
- Walton, D.N.: 1991, Begging the Question: Circular Reasoning as a Tactic of Argumentation, Greenwood Press, Connecticut.
- Walton, D.N. and L.M. Batten: 1984, ‘Games, Graphs and Circular Arguments’, Logique et Analyse 106, 133-164.
- Whately, R.: 1836, Elements of Logic, William Jackson, New York.
- Woods, J. and D.N. Walton: 1978, ‘Arresting Circles in Formal Dialogues’, Journal of Philosophical Logic 7, 73-90.
- Formal Dialectic in Fallacy Inquiry: An Unintelligible Circumscription of Argumentative Rationality?
Volume 17, Issue 2 , pp 161-183
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- (argumentative) rationality
- evidential priority/precedence
- formal dialectic
- Hilary Putnam
- metaphysical standpoint
- petitio principii
- Rescherian plausibility
- Industry Sectors
- Louise Cummings (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of Ulster at Coleraine, Cromore Road, Coleraine, BT52 1SA, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK