Informal Logic’s Infinite Regress: Inference Through a Looking-Glass

In Steve Oswald & Didier Maillat (eds.), Argumentation and Inference. Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Argumentation, Fribourg 2017, Vol. I. London, UK: College Publications. pp. 365-377 (2018)
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I argue against the skeptical epistemological view exemplified by the Groarkes that “all theories of informal argument must face the regress problem.” It is true that in our theoretical representations of reasoning, infinite regresses of self-justification regularly and inadvertently arise with respect to each of the RSA criteria for argument cogency (the premises are to be relevant, sufficient, and acceptable). But they arise needlessly, by confusing an RSA criterion with argument content, usually premise material.

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Gilbert Edward Plumer
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (PhD)


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