Analysis of Argument Strategies of Attack and Cooption: Stock Cases, Formalization, and Argument Reconstruction

Aaron Ben-Zeev


Three common strategies used by informal logicians are considered: (1) the appeal to standard cases, (2) the attempt to partially formalize so-called "informal fallacies," and (3) restatement of arguments in such a way as to make their logical character more perspicuous. All three strategies are found to be useful. Attention is drawn to several advantages of a "stock case" approach, a minimalist approach to formalization is recommended, and doubts are raised about the applicability, from a logical point of view, of a principle of charitable construal in the reconstruction of arguments.


informal fallacy, stock case, formalization, argument reconstruction, principle of charity, ad verecundiam, ad hominem, ad populum, ad misericordiam, ad baculum

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ISSN: 0824-2577