Part of the Applied Logic Series book series (APLS, volume 1)


The use of argument by innuendo to cast aspersions, doubts, and misgivings, has generally had a borderline status as a legitimate subject for study in logic. We know that, practically speaking, this kind of argumentation is very powerful and also very common in everyday conversation. But pinning such a practice down as some sort of fallacy or incorrect argument has appeared to be an elusive project. After all, if premises and conclusions are not clearly or explicitly asserted in this kind of argumentation, how can we detect and evaluate specific instances of failure to present valid or correct arguments?


Critical Discussion Argumentation Scheme Everyday Conversation Indirect Speech Dialogue Move 
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  1. 1.
    See Walton [1989b, p. 270] and [1989a].Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fearnside and Holther [1959, p. 104].Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    CBS News Transcript, 60 Minutes, vol. 23, no. 28, March 24, 1991, pp. 17–18.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Walton [1989a].Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Philosophy, as a field, would be in plenty of trouble, if there were anything inherently wrong with these speech acts.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The monograph, Commitment in Dialogue [Walton and Krabbe, 1995] tackles this general problem.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brinton [1986].Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    A summary précis [not quoted verbatim] of the CBS News Report ‘Presumed Guilty’ televised on 20–20, July 5, 1991.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    On argumentation schemes generally, see Hastings [1962], and van Eemeren and Kruiger [1987].Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Grice [1975].Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    An exception to this traditional concentration is found in the theory of plausible reasoning put forward in Rescher [1976; 1977]. Rescher’s theory explains how shifts in presumptions at a local level of dialogue can be based on an initial or global burden of proof. The concept of burden of proof is further explained in Walton [1988].Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hastings [1962] recognized argument from sign as an argumentation scheme.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    On the importance of such contextual factors in argumentation, see Perelman and OlbrechtsTyteca [1969].Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See Grice [1975].Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    See Hamblin [1970, p. 1781Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hamblin [1970, p. 160]. The only other fallacy more closely connected to argument by innuendo is the argumentum ad ignorantiam. See [Walton, 19961Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hinman [1982].Google Scholar
  18. 1.
    Walton [1989b].Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Walton [1989a].Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Walton [1989a].Google Scholar
  21. 2.
    See Krabbe [1990] on inconsistency of commitment.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WinnipegCanada

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