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What is Reasoning?

Mind 127 (505):167-196 (2018)

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  1. Reasoning's Relation to Bodily Action.David Jenkins - 2020 - Ratio 33 (2):87-96.
    Recent philosophical work on the relation between reasoning and bodily action is dominated by two views. It is orthodox to have it that bodily actions can be at most causally involved in reasoning. Others have it that reasoning can constitutively involve bodily actions, where this is understood as a matter of non‐mental bodily events featuring as constituents of practical reasoning. Reflection on cases of reasoning out‐loud suggests a neglected alternative on which both practical and theoretical reasoning can have bodily actions (...)
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  • The Epistemic Role of Core Cognition.Zoe Jenkin - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):251-298.
    According to a traditional picture, perception and belief have starkly different epistemic roles. Beliefs have epistemic statuses as justified or unjustified, depending on how they are formed and maintained. In contrast, perceptions are “unjustified justifiers.” Core cognition is a set of mental systems that stand at the border of perception and belief, and has been extensively studied in developmental psychology. Core cognition's borderline states do not fit neatly into the traditional epistemic picture. What is the epistemic role of these states? (...)
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  • Unconscious Rationalization, Or: How (Not) to Think About Awfulness and Death.Jake Quilty-Dunn - manuscript
    Many contemporary epistemologists take rational inference to be a conscious action performed by the thinker (Boghossian 2014; 2018; Valaris 2014; Malmgren 2018). It is tempting to think that rational evaluability requires responsibility, which in turn requires conscious action. In that case, unconscious cognition involves merely associative or otherwise arational processing. This paper argues instead for deep rationalism: unconscious inference often exhibits the same rational status and richly structured logical character as conscious inference. The central case study is rationalization, in which (...)
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  • Fittingness and Good Reasoning.John Brunero - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (2).
    Conor McHugh and Jonathan Way have defended a view of good reasoning according to which good reasoning is explained in terms of the preservation of fittingness. I argue that their Fittingness View is incorrect. Not all fittingness-preserving transitions in thought are instances of good reasoning.
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  • Intuition, Hypothesis, and Reality.David K. Johnson - 1991 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Realism about the external, natural world is an overarching empirical hypothesis. The method of hypothetical realism rejects as an excessive concession to the skeptic these two assumptions of constructivist intuitionism: first, that everything real must be exhaustively inspectable; and second, that our beliefs are to be justified to the point of certainty. We prefer to say that nothing is ever known directly; that all of our contact with the world is mediated by thoughts, words, and percepts construed as signs having (...)
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  • Reasoning and Deducing.Markos Valaris - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):861-885.
    What exactly is reasoning? While debate on this question is ongoing, most philosophers seem to agree on at least the following: reasoning is a mental process operating on contents, which consists in adopting or revising some of your attitudes in light of others. In this paper, I argue that this characterisation is mistaken: there is no single mental phenomenon that satisfies both of these conditions. Instead, I characterise two distinct mental phenomena, which I call ‘deducing’, on the one hand, and (...)
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  • Inferring by Attaching Force.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):701-714.
    The paper offers an account of inference. The account underwrites the idea that inference requires that the reasoner takes her premises to support her conclusion. I reject views according to which such ‘takings’ are intuitions or beliefs. I sketch an alternative view on which inferring consists in attaching what I call ‘inferential force’ to a structured collection of contents.
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  • A Brief History of Rationality: Reason, Reasonableness, Rationality, and Reasons.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):501-529.
    In this paper, I present a brief (and more than a little potted) history of the concepts of reason, rationality, reasonableness, and reasons in modern European philosophy and consider whether this history might support the "Anscombean" conclusion that, "The concepts of rationality and reasons ought to jettisoned if this is psychologically possible; because they are survivals, or derivatives from survivals, from an earlier conception of psychology and philosophy which no longer generally survives, and are only harmful without it.".
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  • Goodness-Fixing Isn’T Good Enough: A Reply to McHugh and Way.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1309-1318.
    According to McHugh and Way reasoning is a person-level attitude revision that is regulated by its constitutive aim of getting fitting attitudes. They claim that this account offers an explanation of what is wrong with reasoning in ways one believes to be bad and that this explanation is an alternative to an explanation that appeals to the so-called Taking Condition. I argue that their explanation is unsatisfying.
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  • We Cannot Infer by Accepting Testimony.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2589-2598.
    While we can judge and believe things by merely accepting testimony, we cannot make inferences by merely accepting testimony. A good theory of inference should explain this. The theories that are best suited to explain this fact seem to be theories that accept a so-called intuitional construal of Boghossian’s Taking Condition.
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  • How Reasoning Aims at Truth.David Horst - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Many hold that theoretical reasoning aims at truth. In this paper, I ask what it is for reasoning to be thus aim-directed. Standard answers to this question explain reasoning’s aim-directedness in terms of intentions, dispositions, or rule-following. I argue that, while these views contain important insights, they are not satisfactory. As an alternative, I introduce and defend a novel account: reasoning aims at truth in virtue of being the exercise of a distinctive kind of cognitive power, one that, unlike ordinary (...)
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  • Reasoning, Rational Requirements, and Occurrent Attitudes.Wooram Lee - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):1343-1357.
    This paper explores the sense in which rational requirements govern our attitudes like belief and intention. I argue that there is a tension between the idea that rational requirements govern attitudes understood as standing states and the attractive idea that we can directly satisfy the requirements by performing reasoning. I identify the tension by (a) illustrating how a dispositional conception of belief can cause trouble for the idea that we can directly revise our attitudes through reasoning by considering John Broome's (...)
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  • Inferring as a Way of Knowing.Nicholas Koziolek - 2017 - Synthese.
    Plausibly, an inference is an act of coming to believe something on the basis of something else you already believe. But what is it to come to believe some- thing on the basis of something else? I propose a disjunctive answer: it is either for some beliefs to rationally cause another—where rational causation is understood as causation that is either actually or potentially productive of knowledge—or for some beliefs to “deviantly” cause another, but for the believer mistakenly to come thereby (...)
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