The Paradoxical Associated Conditional of Enthymemes

In Christopher W. Tindale, Hans V. Hansen & Elmar Sveda (eds.), Argumentation at the Century's Turn [CD-ROM]. Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation. pp. 1-8 (2000)
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Expressing a widely-held view, David Hitchcock claims that "an enthymematic argument ... assumes at least the truth of the argument's associated conditional ... whose antecedent is the conjunction of the argument's explicit premises and whose consequent is the argument's conclusion." But even definitionally, this view is problematic, since an argument's being "enthymematic" or incomplete with respect to its explicit premises means that the conclusion is not implied by these premises alone. The paper attempts to specify the ways in which the view is incorrect, as well as seemingly correct (e.g., the case of a Modus Ponens wherein the major premise is implicit).

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


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