Informal fallacies as cognitive heuristics in public health reasoning

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The public must make assessments of a range of health-related issues. However, these as-sessments require scientific know-ledge which is often lacking or inef-fectively utilized by the public. Lay people must use whatever cognitive resources are at their disposal to come to judgement on these issues. It will be contended that a group of arguments-so-called informal fal-lacies-are a valuable cognitive re-source in this regard. These argu-ments serve as cognitive heuristics which facilitate reasoning when knowledge is limited or beyond the grasp of reasoners. The results of an investigation into the use of these arguments by the public are reported.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalInformal Logic
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Argument from authority
  • Argument from ignorance
  • Cognitive heuristic
  • Informal fallacies
  • Public health
  • Reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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