Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 30, Issue 1, Spring 2015

Mark Battersby, Sharon Bailin
Pages 9-16

Fallacy Identification in a Dialectical Approach to Teaching Critical Thinking

The dialectical approach to teaching critical thinking is centred on a comparative evaluation of contending arguments, so that generally the strength of an argument for a position can only be assessed in the context of this dialectic. The identification of fallacies, though important, plays only a preliminary role in the evaluation to individual arguments. Our approach to fallacy identification and analysis sees fallacies as argument patterns whose persuasive power is disproportionate to their probative value.