Defining Deduction

Mark Vorobej


This paper defends the view that the classification of an argument as being deductive ought to rest exclusively upon psychological considerations; specifically, upon whether the argument's author holds certain beliefs. This account is justified on theoretical and pedagogical grounds, and situated within a general taxonomy of competing proposals. Epistemological difficulties involved in the application of psychological definitions are recognized but claimed to be ineliminable from the praetice of argumentation. The paper concludes by discussing embryonic arguments where the author's relevant beliefs are not sufficiently fine-grained so as to accord the argument deductive or inductive status.


deductive argument, necessitation, embryonic argument, the personal point of view

Full Text:



ISSN: 0824-2577