The Cogent Reasoning Model of Informal Fallacies

Daniel N. Boone


An infonnal fallacy is a reasoning error with three features: the reasoning employs an implicit cogent pattern; the fallacy results from one or more false premises; there is culpable ignorance or deception associated with the falsity of the premises. A reconstruction and analysis of the cogent reasoning patterns in fourteen standard infonnal fallacy types plus several variations are given. Defense of the CMR account covers: a general failure to apply the principle of charity in informal fallacy contexts; empirical evidence for it; how it explains Walton's point that there are both fallacious and non-fallacious instances of fallacy types; how it avoids most "relevance" problems, pennits clearer taxonomizing, and promises pedagogical advantages; how it solves a "demarcation problem."


informal fallacies, principle of charity, cogent reasoning model of informal fallacies, Richard E. Nisbett

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ISSN: 0824-2577