Lecture to lay out tool for detecting tactical fallacy

In some cases a fallacy is simply an error of reasoning, but at times it is a tactic used to gain an unfair advantage in debate by clever verbal deception or trickery.

Philosopher Douglas Walton will outline an approach to coping with these sophistical tactics fallacies in his free public presentation, “Applying Profiles of Dialogue to Sophistical Tactics,” at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, in room 1163, Chrysler Hall North.

“An error in reasoning can often easily be corrected by simply using an argumentation scheme or asking a critical question,” says Dr. Walton. “But the sophistical tactic type of fallacy can only be detected by taking into account the background context of dialogue in which the argument was used for some purpose.”

His lecture will come to the rescue by introducing the profiles of dialogue tool, showing how it can be applied to some relatively simple examples.

Walton is a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric, which presents this event in co-operation with the PhD in Argumentation Studies.