Speaker's Series Nov.13

Friday, November 13, 2020 - 15:00

Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric along with the PhD in Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor invite you to a talk by

J. Anthony Blair

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric


(with a response by Dr. Leo Groarke, Trent University)

Leo Groarke on how to define an informal logic

This paper contains an exposition and criticism of Leo Groarke’s attempt to define informal logic in a way that accommodates many different informal logics. I argue that Groarke’s criteria for an informal logic theory have the consequence of counting as informal logics theories that clearly aren’t.  He needs to add a condition or conditions that will disallow such interlopers. I consider limiting membership to theories that apply strictly to real life arguments, since Groarke—and many others, such as Govier and Johnson and Blair—seem to associate informal logic with them. However, Goddu has made a decisive case against the theorical significance of the concept of real life argument. At this point I shift gears and contend that a key assumption of Groarke’s proposal, that informal logic is a kind of logic, is mistaken. I suggest that “informal logic” is a misnomer, that informal logic is not a kind of logic, and so the hunt for properties that identify and individuate informal logics is a non-starter. I propose that what has been going on and that continues to go on under the rubric of informal logic is philosophical inquiry into the nature of argument.

Friday, November 13, 2020


Weekly presentations conducted via Zoom

All those interested in attending, please contact crrar@uwindsor.ca for more information.