This paper looks around among the major traditional fallacies — centering mainly around the so-called “gang of eighteen” — to discuss which of them should properly be classified as fallacies of relevance. The paper argues that four of these fallacies are fallacies primarily because they are failures of relevance in argumentation, while others are fallacies in a way that is more peripherally related to failures of relevance. Still others have an even more tangential relation to failures of relevance. This paper is part of a larger research project on dialecical relevance in argumentative discourse, currently underway in collaboration with Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst.
Key wordsAd baculum ad hominem ad misericordiam ad populum argumentation critical discussion emotions fallacies relevance threats
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Copi, Irving M. and Carl Cohen: 1990, Introduction to Logic, 8th ed., Collier Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Eemeren, Frans H. van and Rob Grootendorst: 1984, Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
- Epstein, Richard L.: 1990: The Semantic Foundations of Logic, Vol. 1, Propositional Logics, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
- Hamblin, Charles L.: 1970, Fallacies, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
- Pollock, John L.: 1991, ‘A Theory of Defeasible Reasoning’, International Journal of Intelligent Systems 6, 33–54.Google Scholar
- Reiter, Raymond: 1987, ‘Nonmonotonic Reasoning’, Annual Review of Computer Science 2, 147–186.Google Scholar
- Walton, Douglas N.: 1982, Topical Relevance in Argumentation, John Benjamins, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
- Walton, Douglas N.: 1989, Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Walton, Douglas N.: 1990, Practical Reasoning: Goal-Driven, knowledge-Based, Action-Guiding Argumentation, Rowman and Littlefield, Savage, Maryland.Google Scholar
- Walton, Douglas N.: 1991, Begging the Question: Circular Reasoning as a Tactic of Argumentation, Greenwood Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Woods, John: 1987, ‘Ad Baculum, Self-Interest and Pascal's Wager’, in Frans H. van Eemeren, Rob Grootendorst, J. Anthony Blair and Charles A. Willard (eds.), Argumentation: Across the Lines of Discipline, Foris, Dordrecht, pp. 343–349.Google Scholar