Counterarguments and counterexamples.

In Luis Vega (ed.), Luis Vega, Ed. Compendio de Lógica, Argumentación, y Retórica. Madrid: Trotta. pp. 137-142 (2010)
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English translation of an entry on pages 137–42 of the Spanish-language dictionary of logic: Luis Vega, Ed. Compendio de Lógica, Argumentación, y Retórica. Madrid: Trotta. DEDICATION: To my friend and collaborator Kevin Tracy. This short essay—containing careful definitions of ‘counterargument’ and ‘counterexample’—is not an easy read but it is one you’ll be glad you struggled through. It contains some carefully chosen examples suitable for classroom discussion. Using the word ‘counterexample’ instead of ‘counterargument’ in connection with Aristotle’s invalidity proofs leads to a misinterpretation of Aristotle’s intentions. The two relations expressed by these two words are drastically different—as explained in this essay. There is however a subtle overlap: Every argument that is a counterargument for a given argument is a counterexample to the universal proposition that every argument in the same form as the given argument is valid. The word ‘counterexample’ was coined in the 1800s. The word ‘counterargument’ was given this sense in the 1960s. Saying that one argument is a counterexample for another argument is bad English—taking the word ‘counterexample’ in its Standard English sense. The word ‘counterinstance’ is an exact synonym for ‘counterexample’. Which logic books define ‘counterinstance’ or ‘counterexample’? Who started using ‘counterinstance’ or ‘counterexample’ in the sense of ‘counterargument’? Did they note that they were not using the word in the Standard sense? Why did it catch on? Also see:
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