OSSA Day 2: Fallacy Identification

Last session of the day, Mark Battersby and Sharon Bailin's "Fallacy Identification in a Dialectical Approach to Teaching Critical Thinking," argued for the following three points:

  • Fallacies are arguments whose rhetorical value greatly exceeds their probative value;
  • Fallacy identification plays a prima facie role in eliminating bad arguments;
  • Fallacies are not the end of critical analysis, but open the door to more comprehensive evaluation.

Very helpfully, they set their view against some other common approaches to fallacies (Rescher, Hansen, Pragma-Dialectics, Walton–should do a post on these some day).  Interesting about their definition (immediately called into question by Christoph Lumer), was the idea of "rhetorical value."  He maintained that this would exclude many cases of fallacy.  For instance, absurd arguments which have little probative power; or, relatedly, an argument with lots of probative power and little persuasive power.  Battersby stood his ground that rhetorically powerless arguments can't really be fallacious, as no one would by them.

Some good commentary by van Laar (read by Krabbe).

*edited–thanks mustache man.  I was typing this during the session, trying to be quiet.

5 thoughts on “OSSA Day 2: Fallacy Identification”

  1. “Fallacies are arguments whose rhetorical value greatly exceeds their rhetorical value”

    How is that possible?

  2. Hey John Small Berries.  I was trying to be quiet typing during the session, and I messed that up.  Also other things.

  3. Thanks for blogging these papers–this one sounds like it will be worth reading when the proceedings come out. But, it almost feels like I was there. . .. And thanks for stepping in for chairing.

  4. John,
    Thanks for writing up my talk. Very impressive real time communication.  But I can't help but wonder what you thought about my response to Lumer. 

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