Reason and Reasoning

Paul Grice

in Aspects of Reason

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780198242529
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597534 | DOI:
 Reason and Reasoning

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Grice deals with the nature of practical and non‐practical (‘alethic’) reasoning, particularly what may be called imperfect reasoning. It consists of ‘misreasoning’ (the misapplication of good principles of reasoning), ‘incomplete reasoning’ (formally invalid but nonetheless correct inferences due to a missing premise that is either suppressed or expected to exist), and ‘too good to be reasoning’ (valid reasoning that is ‘uninteresting’ because it is merely mechanical, aimless, or overly detailed). The last two kinds of reasoning, Grice argues, suggest a distinction between ‘flat rationality’ (the formal capacity to apply inferential rules common to all human beings) and ‘variable rationality’ (the excellence or competence of good reasoning, which we have to different degrees).

Keywords: alethic reasoning; incomplete reasoning; misreasoning; practical reasoning; rationality; reason; reasoning

Chapter.  8813 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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