Edward Stein

in Without Good Reason

Published in print December 1997 | ISBN: 9780198237730
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679520 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy


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The previous chapter considered a general strategy for interpreting the results of the reasoning experiments whereby all reasoning behaviours that diverged from the normative principles of reasoning are interpreted as performance errors. It argued that, unless special considerations could be offered in favour of it, this strategy amounts to an immunization strategy for the rationality thesis. In this chapter, one type of consideration in favour of interpreting all divergences from the normative principles as performance errors, namely charity, is discussed. This principle, developed by W. V. O. Quine as a guide for language translation, is discussed, and the chapter examines how it might be extended to reasoning competence. It also considers an alternative to the principle of charity known as the principle of humanity, as well as the so-called finitary predicament.

Keywords: reasoning; performance errors; rationality thesis; charity; humanity; normative principles; reasoning competence; Quine; finitary predicament

Chapter.  11085 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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