Reasoning Imperialism

Lance J. Rips

in Common Sense, Reasoning, and Rationality

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195147667
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785865 | DOI:

Series: New Directions in Cognitive Science (formerly Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science)

 Reasoning Imperialism

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Although people can recognize and make deductively valid arguments on occasion, one perspective is that there might be no psychologically valid distinction between the deductive correctness of a conclusion and its inductive strength. This perspective is called reasoning imperialism: the attempts of one theoretical camp to assimilate the data explained by another. This chapter shows that an element crucial to extending a mental models theory of deduction to handle inductive-strength judgments is unavailable, namely, the specification of constraints on what counts as relevant counterexamples to the inductive inference under consideration. It is argued that reasoning imperialism may not work for deduction and induction, for people may hold different sorts of arguments to different sorts of standards and evaluate them in qualitatively different sorts of ways.

Keywords: deductive correctness; inductive strength; reasoning imperialism; deductive reasoning

Chapter.  9284 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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