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Blasey & Kavanaugh VII: Motivations & Credibility

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While attacking a person’s motivations does not, in itself, disprove their claim, there is the question of the impact of motivations on credibility. The discussion begins with a look at an inductive argument in which credibility is used to support a claim. This is, obviously enough, the classic argument from authority:   Premise 1: A makes claim C about Subject S. Premise 2: A is an authority on subject S. Conclusion: C is true.   The strength of this argument depends on the expertise of person A as well as such factors as any bias on the part of A and the consensus of other experts in the field. If the alleged authority’s expertise is sufficiently lacking, then a fallacious appeal to authority is committed. This is because the evidence fails to warrant the conclusion. It should be noted that even a non-fallacious argument of this sort is still relatively weak since the idea is that the claim is probably true because the authority probably has good reasons/evidence for the. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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