BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Poisoning the well and epistemic privilege

    Kotzee, Ben (2010) Poisoning the well and epistemic privilege. Argumentation 24 (3), pp. 265-281. ISSN 0920-427X.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    In this paper, a challenge is outlined for Walton’s recent analysis of the fallacy of poisoning the well. An example of the fallacy in action during a debate on affirmative action on a South African campus is taken to raise the question of how Walton’s analysis squares with the idea that disadvantaged parties in debates about race may be “epistemically privileged”. It is asked when the background of a participant is relevant to a debate and it is proposed that a proper analysis of the poisoning the well will outline conditions under which making one participant’s background an issue in a debate would be legitimate and illegitimate. Expanding Walton’s analysis to deal with the challenge, it is concluded that calling into question a participant’s suitability to take part in a debate is never legitimate when it is based simply on a broad fact about their background (like their race or gender).


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Fallacy, poisoning the well, ad hominem, epistemic privilege, race, gender
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 12:24
    Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 13:27


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item