Intuitions and the modelling of defeasible reasoning: some case studies

07/09/2002 ∙ by Henry Prakken, et al. ∙ 0

The purpose of this paper is to address some criticisms recently raised by John Horty in two articles against the validity of two commonly accepted defeasible reasoning patterns, viz. reinstatement and floating conclusions. I shall argue that Horty's counterexamples, although they significantly raise our understanding of these reasoning patterns, do not show their invalidity. Some of them reflect patterns which, if made explicit in the formalisation, avoid the unwanted inference without having to give up the criticised inference principles. Other examples seem to involve hidden assumptions about the specific problem which, if made explicit, are nothing but extra information that defeat the defeasible inference. These considerations will be put in a wider perspective by reflecting on the nature of defeasible reasoning principles as principles of justified acceptance rather than `real' logical inference.



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