Apologetics to the Glory of God

Questions about the Form of TAG

I saw the following questions left for me elsewhere on the Internet so I will take a moment to briefly respond.

1. “Van Til and Bahnsen claim that TAG is neither inductive nor deductive. Do the other things they say about TAG also imply this, and if so, how?”

To my knowledge, Van Til and Bahnsen never use the acronym ‘TAG,’ although Bahnsen repeats the phrase ‘Transcendental Argument for God.’ Searching this site reveals a fair amount of rather heated discussion and evidence regarding Van Til and Bahnsen’s claims to the effect that transcendental argument is neither inductive nor deductive.

2. “What is the logical structure of a transcendental (as opposed to a deductive or an inductive) argument? Is Van Til’s and Bahnsen’s view identical to Don Collett’s formulation?”

Transcendental. No.

3. “We understand what it means for an inductive argument to be strong or weak. We know what validity and soundness is with regard to deductive arguments. What distinguishes a successful transcendental argument from an unsuccessful one?”

‘Strong’ and ‘weak’ inductive arguments can, presumably, both be ‘successful.’ ‘Validity’ and ‘soundness’ are more precise deductive categories than ‘successful.’ So although it is unclear what is meant by ‘successful,’ a ‘successful’ transcendental argument would likely demonstrate some precondition of knowledge and an ‘unsuccessful’ transcendental argument would fail to do so.


2 responses to “Questions about the Form of TAG”

  1. Balint Avatar


    “What is the logical structure of a transcendental (as opposed to a deductive or an inductive) argument?”

    Can you explain that in slightly more detail? 😀

    1. C. L. Bolt Avatar
      C. L. Bolt

      I suspect I don’t understand the question. Are you asking what deductive form transcendental arguments take? That would be a strange question to ask of those who believe TAs aren’t deductive in nature. Hence I answered that TAs are transcendental in terms of logical structure. Of course, I believe TAs are a distinctive type of argument, and that something like ‘TAG’ is a family of arguments.

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