Conductive Argumentation, Degrees of Confidence, and the Communication of Uncertainty

  • Sharon BailinEmail author
  • Mark Battersby
Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 28)


We argue in this paper that there is an epistemic obligation to communicate the appropriate degree of confidence when asserting conclusions in conductive argumentation. This runs contrary to the position of those theorists who contend that once the conclusion to a conductive argument is drawn, it is simply asserted in an unqualified manner. We argue, on the contrary, that, in many contexts, we do qualify our conclusions and further, that we have an epistemic responsibility to do so. As an illustration, we discuss the case of the Italian scientists tried for failing to convey to the public appropriate warnings of the risks of the earthquake in L’Aquila.


Justify Belief Medium Confidence Epistemic Authority Individual Argument Epistemic Obligation 
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.



We would like to thank Monica Bhattacharjee for her contribution to the preparation of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationSimon Fraser UniversityVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Capilano University (Retired)Critical Inquiry GroupVancouverCanada

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