A metamathematical extension of the Toulmin Agenda

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Toulmin is famously seen as a progenitor of informal logic and is first among many who seek to move the study of argument away from its roots in formal, especially mathematical, logic and towards its place in inquiry. Toulmin's efforts, however, have been criticized for lack of foundation. I will argue that although Toulmin is correct in rejecting mathematical logic as a theory of argument and logical empiricism as the philosophy of science, there is a significant role for metamathematics in the normative foundation of argument. The core is a metamathematical account of truth and entailment based on physical science rather than arithmetic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArguing on the Toulmin Model
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays in Argument Analysis and Evaluation
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)1402049374, 9781402049378
StatePublished - 2006


  • Stephen E. Toulmin
  • argument
  • backing
  • entailment
  • epistemology
  • formal logic
  • inquiry
  • metamathematics
  • philosophy of science
  • truth
  • warrant


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