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    A Bayesian approach to the argument from ignorance

    Oaksford, Mike and Hahn, Ulrike (2004) A Bayesian approach to the argument from ignorance. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale 58 (2), pp. 75-85. ISSN 1196-1961.

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    In this paper, we re-examine a classic informal reasoning fallacy, the so-called argumentam ad ignorantiam. We argue that the structure of some versions of this argument parallels examples of inductive reasoning that are widely viewed as unproblematic. Viewed probabilistically, these versions of the argument from ignorance constitute a legitimate form of reasoning; the textbook examples are inductive arguments that are not unsound but simply weak, due to the nature of the premises and conclusions involved. In an experiment, we demonstrated some of the variables affecting the strength of the argument, and conclude with some general considerations towards an empirical theory of argument strength.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 11:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:26


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