Sorry for the long hiatus–work and some wordpress issues. Anyway, we’ll be back to posting occasionally.
Here’s a paper worth reading: “The Fake, the Flimsy, and the Fallacious: Demarcating Arguments in Real Life” by Boudry, Paglieri, and Pigliucci. Here’s the key argument:
We outline a destructive dilemma we refer to as the Fallacy Fork: on the one hand, if fallacies are construed as demonstrably invalid form of reasoning, then they have very limited applicability in real life (few actual instances). On the other hand, if our definitions of fallacies are sophisticated enough to capture real-life complexities, they can no longer be held up as an effective tool for discriminating good and bad forms of reasoning.
In addition to other questions (which I’ll maybe discuss later), I wonder very strongly about the empirical verifiability of the first horn.