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From: Dan W. (danw_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-01-04 01:26:55

Thorsten Ottosen wrote:
>>>However, argument by authority is usually not a falacy. It's a valid way
> of
>>Never works. If you say X and I say Y.
>>Then you say, D is an authority and says X.
>>Then I say, C is a higher authority and says Y.
>>Then you say B is the highest authority and says X.
>>Then I say, A, to me, is the highest authority, who says not only X,
>>but also, that B is a moron.
>>It never ends... ;-)
> I don't know what you're trying to say, but if you doupt me, then please

Let me try another way.

If you say X and I say !X; and then I say that A is an authority, and
she says !X, you might ask how do I _know_ that A is an authority. And
if I'm not an authority myself, I can only appeal to authority again by
saying that B is a greater authority than A and he attests to the
authority of A; but then, if you ask me how do I _know_ that B is such
an authority, I'm caught in an infinite recursion. And the fact of the
matter is that it could be proven that authority cannot be proven, for
the only way you can prove authority is by having authority, but then
you cannot prove it other than to one who has it already but who cannot
prove it either.

> read the
> book called "A rulebook of arguments".

Not sure I'be convinced of the author's authority, if she says that
appeal to authority is cool... ;-)

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