Burden of proof (philosophy)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The philosophical burden of proof or onus (probandi) is the obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.

Holder of the burden

When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim. "If this responsibility or burden of proof is shifted to a critic, the fallacy of appealing to ignorance is committed". This burden does not necessarily require a mathematical or strictly logical proof, although many strong arguments do rise to this level (such as in logical syllogisms). Rather, the evidential standard required for a given claim is determined by convention or community standards, with regard to the context of the claim in question.


In public discourse

Burden of proof is also an important concept in the public arena of ideas. Assuming both sides have agreed to reasoned discourse, the burden of proof can serve as an effective tool to ensure that all relevant arguments from both sides of an issue are introduced. After common assumptions are established the mechanism of burden of proof takes over to keep those engaged in discourse focused on providing evidential warrant and cogent arguments for their positions.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Burden of proof (philosophy)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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