Andrew Aberdein, of the Florida Institute of Technology, argued that if good arguments are virtuous, then bad arguments are vicious. Â The problem is that arguments are tokens, not dispositions. Â Side note: we here at the NS stress this fact in our general disclaimer on bias. Â We diagnose individual argument tokens, not ideologies.
Back to Aberdein. Â After dispensing with the idea that the ad hominem is always fallacious that the concept of virtue in argument was a self refuting ad hominem, Aberdein built what I thought was a good case for taking fallacies as argumentative vices–these include dogmatism, reliabilist problems, and failures of diligence in investigating evidence. Â All good so far, I think.
Dan Cohen (see Scott’s post on his awesome keynote) raised a key question. Â Argumentative vices seem to provide good reason for discounting arguers, but do argument virtues do the same for individual arguments?