Shyam Nair
Arizona State University
There is consensus among computer scientists, logicians, and philosophers that good reasoning with qualitative beliefs must have the structural property of cumulative transitivity or, for short, cut. This consensus is typically explicitly argued for partially on the basis of practical and mathematical considerations. But the consensus is also implicit in the approach philosophers take to almost every puzzle about reasoning that involves multiple steps: philosophers typically assume that if each step in reasoning is acceptable considered on its own, the whole chain of reasoning must also acceptable. In this paper I focus on whether there are good philosophical reasons for thinking that the consensus that good reasoning must satisfy cut is true. My central claim is that we should not accept the consensus—good reasoning might not satisfy cut. In particular, I consider four arguments for the consensus and explain why they are unpersuasive. (§2-5). I then show that the issue of whether good reasoning is cut turns on a substantive yet until now unnoticed question in epistemology (§6).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12431
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

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.
Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.

View all 55 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Must Good Reasoning Satisfy Cumulative Transitivity?Shyam Nair - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):123-146.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Iterated Descriptor Revision and the Logic of Ramsey Test Conditionals.Sven Hansson - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (4):429-450.
What is Good Reasoning?Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:153-174.
Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity.Alex Voorhoeve - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):409-425.
Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
Stereotypical Reasoning: Logical Properties.D. Lehmann - 1998 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 6 (1):49-58.
Synchronic Requirements and Diachronic Permissions.John Broome - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):630-646.
Primitive Knowledge Disjunctivism.Berit Brogaard - 2011 - Philosophical Issues 21 (1):45-73.
Critical Thinking, Reasoning, and Logic.Harun Ur Rashid - 1993 - Dissertation, Wayne State University
Why Not Infinitism?Peter D. Klein - 2000 - Epistemology 5:199-208.


Added to PP index

Total views
144 ( #79,944 of 2,497,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #20,721 of 2,497,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes