Advanced

A probabilistic analysis of argument cogency

Godden, David and Zenker, Frank LU (2016) In Synthese
Abstract

This paper offers a probabilistic treatment of the conditions for argument cogency as endorsed in informal logic: acceptability, relevance, and sufficiency (RSA). Treating a natural language argument as a reason-claim-complex, our analysis identifies content features of defeasible argument on which the RSA conditions depend, namely: (1) change in the commitment to the reason, (2) the reason’s sensitivity and selectivity to the claim, (3) one’s prior commitment to the claim, and (4) the contextually determined thresholds of acceptability for reasons and for claims. Results contrast with, and may indeed serve to correct, the informal understanding and applications of the RSA criteria concerning their conceptual (in)dependence, their... (More)

This paper offers a probabilistic treatment of the conditions for argument cogency as endorsed in informal logic: acceptability, relevance, and sufficiency (RSA). Treating a natural language argument as a reason-claim-complex, our analysis identifies content features of defeasible argument on which the RSA conditions depend, namely: (1) change in the commitment to the reason, (2) the reason’s sensitivity and selectivity to the claim, (3) one’s prior commitment to the claim, and (4) the contextually determined thresholds of acceptability for reasons and for claims. Results contrast with, and may indeed serve to correct, the informal understanding and applications of the RSA criteria concerning their conceptual (in)dependence, their function as update-thresholds, and their status as obligatory rather than permissive norms, but also show how these formal and informal normative approachs can in fact align.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Acceptability, Argument appraisal, Bayes theorem, Informal logic, Jeffrey conditionalization, Relevance, Sufficiency
in
Synthese
pages
26 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85007415592
ISSN
0039-7857
DOI
10.1007/s11229-016-1299-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4f2cebd4-7717-4543-bfe6-7ae574c8b3a6
date added to LUP
2017-01-13 07:15:34
date last changed
2017-05-29 15:36:08
@article{4f2cebd4-7717-4543-bfe6-7ae574c8b3a6,
  abstract     = {<p>This paper offers a probabilistic treatment of the conditions for argument cogency as endorsed in informal logic: acceptability, relevance, and sufficiency (RSA). Treating a natural language argument as a reason-claim-complex, our analysis identifies content features of defeasible argument on which the RSA conditions depend, namely: (1) change in the commitment to the reason, (2) the reason’s sensitivity and selectivity to the claim, (3) one’s prior commitment to the claim, and (4) the contextually determined thresholds of acceptability for reasons and for claims. Results contrast with, and may indeed serve to correct, the informal understanding and applications of the RSA criteria concerning their conceptual (in)dependence, their function as update-thresholds, and their status as obligatory rather than permissive norms, but also show how these formal and informal normative approachs can in fact align.</p>},
  author       = {Godden, David and Zenker, Frank},
  issn         = {0039-7857},
  keyword      = {Acceptability,Argument appraisal,Bayes theorem,Informal logic,Jeffrey conditionalization,Relevance,Sufficiency},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {26},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Synthese},
  title        = {A probabilistic analysis of argument cogency},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-016-1299-2},
  year         = {2016},
}