The Irrelevance of Relevance

David Botting


The lack of a theory of relevance in the current state of the art of informal logic has often been considered regrettable, a gap that must be filled before the Relevance-Sufficiency-Acceptability model can be considered complete. I wish to challenge this view. A theory of relevance is neither desirable nor possible. Informal logic can get by perfectly well, and has been doing so far, with relevance judgments that are by nature unanalysable and intuitive. Criticism of theories of relevance, for example in Woods (1992), is deflated.

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ISSN: 0824-2577