Chapter

Reasoning

Hilary Kornblith

in On Reflection

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199563005
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745263 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563005.003.0003
Reasoning

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Some of our beliefs are the product of reasoning. What is involved when we reason from one belief, or one set of beliefs, to another? Some philosophers have held that all that is involved here is some sort of causal relationship between the former belief (or beliefs) and the latter. Others have held, however, that something more is required: One must have reflected on the transition from the former to the latter and formed the belief that such a transition is warranted. It is argued, following Lewis Carroll, that such a view leads to an infinite regress. A number of technical solutions to the regress problem are considered and found to be implausible. In addition, it is argued that the reflective requirement presupposes some substantive psychological theses about the differences between human and animal cognition, and these psychological claims are, in fact, false.

Keywords: reasoning; Lewis Carroll; Sydney Shoemaker; Robert Brandom; Donald Davidson; Michael Williams; John McDowell

Chapter.  13177 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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