Argument Strength, the Toulmin Model, and Ampliative Probability

James B. Freeman


We argue that Cohen’s concept of inductive or ampliative probability facilitates proper explication of sufficient strength for non-demonstrative arguments conforming to the Toulmin model. The data and claims of such arguments are singular statements. We may epistemically classify the warrants of such arguments as empirical (either physical or personal), institutional, or evaluative. Backing evidence and rebutting considerations vary with the epistemic type of warrant, but in each case the notion of ampliative probability for arguments with warrants of that type can be characterized. We may then use ampliative probability to define sufficient strength and related notions for Toulmin arguments.


L.J. Cohen, Toulmin model, ampliative probability, inductive support, inductive probability, warrant, backing, rebuttal, canonical test

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ISSN: 0824-2577