Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Blair, J. A.






This thesis is an investigation dealing with premise relevance. Specifically, I am interested in the question: what makes a premise relevant in the context of an argument? My method of approaching this matter is twofold: First, I survey the literature of three informal logicians to see if they agree as to what constitutes relevance. Second, I look to the classical legal literature to determine whether they are agreeable as to how relevance is defined and whether their work is beneficial to the logical enterprise. The informal logicians are: Douglas Walton, Christopher Tindale and James Freeman. I argue that although each of the writers has a different story to tell, the work of Freeman and Tindale are similar in substantial respects. The classical legal writers I investigate are John H. Wigmore and James B. Thayer. I have found them to be in agreement as to what constitutes relevance and on the relationship of logic to law. Overall, I have found that the work on relevance of these classic legal writers is of little benefit to the work of the informal logicians, because the domains differ in their respective approaches to the issue: The legal writers are concerned with arriving at a working definition of relevance which can be rendered applicable to practical evidentiary matters. The informal logicians attempt to ascertain not only what relevance is with great conceptual clarity, but devise a normative component as well.Dept. of Philosophy. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .K388. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-02, page: 0439. Adviser: J. Anthony Blair. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.