Arguments Whose Strength Depends on Continuous Variation

Informal Logic 33 (1):33-56 (2013)
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Abstract

Both the traditional Aristotelian and modern symbolic approaches to logic have seen logic in terms of discrete symbol processing. Yet there are several kinds of argument whose validity depends on some topological notion of continuous variation, which is not well captured by discrete symbols. Examples include extrapolation and slippery slope arguments, sorites, fuzzy logic, and those involving closeness of possible worlds. It is argued that the natural first attempts to analyze these notions and explain their relation to reasoning fail, so that ignorance of their nature is profound.

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James Franklin
University of New South Wales

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