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Arguments from authority and expert opinion in computational argumentation systems

An Erratum to this article was published on 06 September 2016

This article has been updated

Abstract

In this paper we show that an essential aspect of solving the problem of uncritical acceptance of expert opinions that is at the root of the ad verecundiam fallacy is the need to disentangle argument from expert opinion from another kind of appeal to authority. Formal and computational argumentation systems enable us to analyze the fault in which an error has occurred by virtue of a failure to meet one or more of the requirements of the argumentation scheme from argument from expert opinion. We present a method for enhancing this capability by showing how arguments from expert opinion are related to, but different from, arguments from deontic authority.

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Change history

  • 06 September 2016

    An erratum to this article has been published.

Notes

  1. 1.

    These and other distinctions are listed e.g. in Goodwin (1998, p. 278).

  2. 2.

    For the conditional version of the scheme see Walton (2014b).

  3. 3.

    See also the Carneades blog (https://carneades.github.io/) for a brief description of the new features.

  4. 4.

    In the field of legal theory, administrative or formal authority based on a support of an institution is distinguished from deontic authority according to which certain behavior is defined as obligatory or permitted and this qualification is binding on the addressee of the argument (Araszkiewicz and Koszowy 2016, pp. 16–17).

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Correspondence to Douglas Walton.

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An erratum to this article is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-016-0673-4.

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Walton, D., Koszowy, M. Arguments from authority and expert opinion in computational argumentation systems. AI & Soc 32, 483–496 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-016-0666-3

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Keywords

  • Deontic authority
  • Fallacious argument from authority (argumentum ad verecundiam)
  • Argument from expert opinion
  • Defeasible argumentation