Trust based on bias: Cognitive constraints on source-related fallacies

Oswald, Steve; Hart, Christopher (2013-05-22). "Trust based on bias: Cognitive constraints on source-related fallacies". OSSA Conference Archive.

Abstract

This paper advances a cognitive account of the rhetorical effectiveness of fallacious arguments and takes the example of source-related fallacies. Drawing on cognitive psychology and evolutionary linguistics, we claim that a fallacy enforces accessibility and epistemic cognitive constraints on argument processing targeted at preventing the addressee from spotting its fallaciousness, by managing to prevent or circumvent critical reactions. We address the evolutionary bases of biases and the way that these are exploited in fallacious argumentation.

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