Argumentation

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 187–220 | Cite as

Modeling Corroborative Evidence: Inference to the Best Explanation as Counter–Rebuttal

Article

Abstract

Corroborative evidence has a dual function in argument. Primarily, it functions to provide direct evidence supporting the main conclusion. But it also has a secondary, bolstering function which increases the probative value of some other piece of evidence in the argument. This paper argues that the bolstering effect of corroborative evidence is legitimate, and can be explained as counter–rebuttal achieved through inference to the best explanation. A model (argument diagram) of corroborative evidence, representing its structure and operation as a schematic pattern of defeasible argument is also supplied. In addition to explaining the operation and theoretical foundation of corroborative evidence, the model facilitates the correct analysis and guides the evaluation (assessment and critique) of corroborative evidence as it occurs in argument.

Keywords

Argument strengthening Corroboration Corroborative evidence Corroborating evidence Counter–rebuttal Inference to the best explanation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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