, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 207–236 | Cite as

A Bayesian Approach to Informal Argument Fallacies

  • Ulrike Hahn
  • 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 typically justified. This leads to a Bayesian reanalysis of these classic argument forms and a reformulation of the conditions under which they do or do not constitute legitimate forms of argumentation.


BAYESIAN Approach Prior Belief Slippery Slope Negative Evidence Argumentative Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiff, WalesUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.School of PsychologyBirkbeck College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

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