The Point of Interpreting Arguments

Jonathan Berg


It is wrong to think that questions of interpretation are significant in informal logic only to the extent that they contribute to the assessment of an argument's conclusion. For one thing, logic is essentially about validity, about that in virtue of which conclusions do or do not follow from given premises, and not about the truth or falsity of conclusions by themselves. Secondly, the evaluation of a given argument requires first determining what the given argument is. Moreover, since arguments are given in rational discourse in order to persuade-in order to arrive, by reason, at agreement-it is necessary to address the very arguments that arguers actually intend.


argument, interpretation, intentions

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ISSN: 0824-2577