Against Boghossian, Wright and Broome on inference

Philosophical Studies 167 (2):419-429 (2014)
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I argue that the accounts of inference recently presented (in this journal) by Paul Boghossian, John Broome, and Crispin Wright are unsatisfactory. I proceed in two steps: First, in Sects. 1 and 2, I argue that we should not accept what Boghossian calls the “Taking Condition on inference” as a condition of adequacy for accounts of inference. I present a different condition of adequacy and argue that it is superior to the one offered by Boghossian. More precisely, I point out that there is an analog of Moore’s Paradox for inference; and I suggest that explaining this phenomenon is a condition of adequacy for accounts of inference. Boghossian’s Taking Condition derives its plausibility from the fact that it apparently explains the analog of Moore’s Paradox. Second, in Sect. 3, I show that neither Boghossian’s, nor Broome’s, nor Wright’s account of inference meets my condition of adequacy. I distinguish two kinds of mistake one is likely to make if one does not focus on my condition of adequacy; and I argue that all three—Boghossian, Broome, and Wright—make at least one of these mistakes.

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Ulf Hlobil
Concordia University

Citations of this work

What is Reasoning?Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):167-196.
Against the Taking Condition.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):314-331.
Inferring by Attaching Force.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):701-714.
What reasoning might be.Markos Valaris - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
How Reasoning Aims at Truth.David Horst - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):221-241.

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References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Intention.Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
What is inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.

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