The Authority of the Fallacies Approach to Argument Evaluation

Catherine Hundleby


Popular textbook treatments of the fallacies approach to argument evaluation employ the Adversary Method identified by Janice Moulton (1983) that takes the goal of argumentation to be the defeat of other arguments and that narrows the terms of discourse in order to facilitate such defeat. My analysis of the textbooks shows that the Adversary Method operates as a Kuhnian paradigm in philosophy, and demonstrates that the popular fallacies pedagogy is authoritarian in being unresponsive to the scholarly developments in informal logic and argumentation theory. A progressive evolution for the fallacies approach is offered as an authoritative alternative.


adversary, argument, authority, epistemology, fallacy, feminism, pedagogy, paradigm, silence, textbook

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ISSN: 0824-2577