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Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric along with the PhD in Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor invite you to a talk by


Dr. Frank Zenker

Lund University, Sweden


“A Probabilistic Analysis of Argument Cogency”

Abstract: We offer 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 we also show how these formal and informal normative approaches can in fact align. (This is joint work with Dr. David Godden)

Friday, January 5, 2018

3:00 pm

Memorial Hall, room 105

All are welcome