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In logic, the property of an argument consisting in the fact that the truth of the premises logically guarantees the truth of the conclusion. Whenever the premises are true, the conclusion must be true, because of the form of the argument. Some arguments that fail to be valid are acceptable on grounds other than formal logic (e.g., inductively strong arguments), and their conclusions are supported with less than logical necessity. Where the support yields high probability of the conclusion relative to the premises, such arguments are sometimes called inductively valid. In other purportedly persuasive arguments, the premises actually provide no rational grounds for accepting the conclusion; such defective forms of argument are called fallacies (seefallacy, formal and informal).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on validity, visit Britannica.com.