Slippery Slope Arguments

Philosophy Compass 9 (10):672-680 (2014)
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Abstract

Slippery slope arguments are frequently dismissed as fallacious or weak arguments but are nevertheless commonly used in political and bioethical debates. This paper gives an overview of different variants of the argument commonly found in the literature and addresses their argumentative strength and the interrelations between them. The most common variant, the empirical slippery slope argument, predicts that if we do A, at some point the highly undesirable B will follow. I discuss both the question which factors affect likelihood of slippage and the relation between the strength of the prediction and the justificatory power of the argument.

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Anneli Jefferson
Cardiff University

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