What is Reasoning?

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

Reasoning is a certain kind of attitude-revision. What kind? The aim of this paper is to introduce and defend a new answer to this question, based on the idea that reasoning is a goodness-fixing kind. Our central claim is that reasoning is a functional kind: it has a constitutive point or aim that fixes the standards for good reasoning. We claim, further, that this aim is to get fitting attitudes. We start by considering recent accounts of reasoning due to Ralph Wedgwood and John Broome, and argue that, while these accounts contain important insights, they are not satisfactory: Wedgwood’s rules out too much, and Broome’s too little. We then introduce and defend our alternative account, discuss some of its implications and attractions, and, finally, consider objections.

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Author Profiles

Conor McHugh
University of Southampton
Jonathan Way
University of Southampton

Citations of this work

The Epistemic Role of Core Cognition.Zoe Jenkin - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):251-298.
Inferring by Attaching Force.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):701-714.
The Aim of Inquiry?Jane Friedman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
"How to Think Several Thoughts at Once: Content Plurality in Mental Action".Antonia Peacocke - 2023 - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 31-60.
Epistemology.Matthias Steup - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.

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