The polysemy of ‘fallacy’—or ‘bias’, for that matter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Starting with a brief overview of current usages (Sect. 2), this paper offers some constituents of a use-based analysis of ‘fallacy’, listing 16 conditions that have, for the most part implicitly, been discussed in the literature (Sect. 3). Our thesis is that at least three related conceptions of ‘fallacy’ can be identified. The 16 conditions thus serve to “carve out” a semantic core and to distinguish three core-specifications. As our discussion suggests, these specifications can be related to three normative positions in the philosophy of human reasoning: the meliorist, the apologist, and the panglossian (Sect. 4). Seeking to make these conditions available for scholarly discussion, this analysis-sketch should not be viewed as final or exhaustive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArgumentation, Objectivity and Bias
EditorsPat Bondy, Laura Benaquista
Place of PublicationWindsor, Ontario
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event11th Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation, 18-21 May, 2016) - University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada
Duration: 2016 May 182016 May 21

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation Conference
ISSN (Print)2371-8323


Conference11th Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation, 18-21 May, 2016)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy


  • bias
  • fallacy
  • meaning analysis


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