On the strength of presumptions

Pragmatics and Cognition 29 (1):82-110 (2022)
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Abstract

Traditionally, a presumption is a dialogically privileged, yet defeasible proposition that allocates the burden of proof to a party who challenges it. This paper investigates the strength of presumptions. First, it explains how ‘strength’ contributes to defining the concept of presumption. Second, it provides an overview of (contextual, justificatory, and deontic) factors determining a presumption’s strength. Finally, it analyses the predominant view that defines strength in terms of the Challenger’s burden of proof: the stronger (weaker) the presumptionp, the more (less) difficult it is to prove non-p. I argue that the latter proposal applies only to practical presumptions, and that strength is conceived differently for cognitive presumptions.

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References found in this work

Defeasible Reasoning.John L. Pollock - 1987 - Cognitive Science 11 (4):481-518.
On presumption.Edna Ullman-Margalit - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (3):143-163.

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