How Reasoning Aims at Truth

Noûs 55 (1):221-241 (2021)
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Abstract

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 dispositions, is capable of fully explaining its own exercises. I argue that this account is able to avoid the difficulties plaguing standard accounts of the relevant sort of mental teleology.

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David Horst
University of Lisbon

Citations of this work

Is Epistemic Competence a Skill?David Horst - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):509-523.
The Activity of Reasoning: How Reasoning Can Constitute Epistemic Agency.David Jenkins - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (3):413-428.

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References found in this work

Empiricism and the philosophy of mind.Wilfrid Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Stephen Mumford.

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