The Necessity of Formalism

  • John Woods
Part of the Applied Logic Series book series (APLS, volume 32)


In this chapter and the next I want to take notice of the special relationship between fallacy theory and informal logic. Most of fallacy theory has nothing to do with the logical forms investigated by systems such as FDL (formal deductive logic). So it is reasonable to see most of fallacy theory as informal logic. At one time, I was inclined to the skeptical view that there was nothing to informal logic but fallacy theory. Now I am pretty sure that this is wrong. As will become clear, the fundamental question for informal logic is its connection or lack of it to the idea of logical form.


Turing Machine Propositional Attitude Argumentation Theory Strict Implication Generic Fallacy 
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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  1. 1.
    Of course not every adjustment of one’s belief-stock is accomplished inferentially. A change in retinal stimuli may well lead to a change in belief (of what you see), but this is not inference (pace Peirce). For more on the type of belief-adjustment that inference is, see [Gabbay and Woods, 2003].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Woods
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.The Abductive Systems GroupUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceKing’s CollegeLondonEngland
  3. 3.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LethbridgeCanada

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