Denying the Antecedent: Its Effective Use in Argumentation

Mark A. Stone


Denying the antecedent is an invalid form of reasoning that is typically identified and frowned upon as a formal fallacy. Contrary to arguments that it does not or at least should not occur, denying the antecedent is a legitimate and effective strategy for undermining a position. Since it is not a valid form of argument, it cannot prove that the position is false. But it can provide inductive evidence that this position is probably false. In this role, it is neither defective nor deceptive. Denying the antecedent provides inductive support for rejecting a claim as improbable.


Argument, argumentation, conditional, denying the antecedent, fallacy, undermine

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ISSN: 0824-2577