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Argumentation

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 383–400 | Cite as

When Is Genetic Reasoning Not Fallacious?

  • Kevin C. Klement
Article

Abstract

Attempts to evaluate a belief or argument on the basis of its cause or origin are usually condemned as committing the genetic fallacy. However, I sketch a number of cases in which causal or historical factors are logically relevant to evaluating a belief, including an interesting abductive form that reasons from the best explanation for the existence of a belief to its likely truth. Such arguments are also susceptible to refutation by genetic reasoning that may come very close to the standard examples given of supposedly fallacious genetic reasoning.

abduction argument causal evaluation explanation fallacy genetic fallacy induction informal logic logic reasoning 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin C. Klement
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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