Analysis of the Talmudic Argumentum a Fortiori inference rule (kal vachomer) using Matrix Abduction

M. Abraham, Dov M. Gabbay, U. Schild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

We motivate and introduce a new method of abduction, Matrix Abduction, and apply it to modelling the use of non-deductive inferences in the Talmud such as Analogy and the rule of Argumentum A Fortiori. Given a matrix A with entries in {0, 1}, we allow for one or more blank squares in the matrix, say ai,j =?. The method allows us to decide whether to declare ai,j = 0 or ai,j = 1 or ai,j =? undecided. This algorithmic method is then applied to modelling several legal and practical reasoning situations including the Talmudic rule of Kal-Vachomer. We add an Appendix showing that this new rule of Matrix Abduction, arising from the Talmud, can also be applied to the analysis of paradoxes in voting and judgement aggregation. In fact we have here a general method for executing non-deductive inferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-364
Number of pages84
JournalStudia Logica
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Argumentation
  • Argumentum A Fortiori
  • Matrix Abduction
  • Qal-Vachomer
  • Talmudic logic

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