Reasoning as Responsive Conversation

Anthony Simon Laden

in Reasoning

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199606191
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741081 | DOI:
Reasoning as Responsive Conversation

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According to the standard picture of reason, people are reasoning if they are invoking and exchanging reasons, so in order to determine if people are reasoning, we need to start with an account of the reasons they face. According to the social picture, people are reasoning if they are engaged in a particular norm-governed activity; and when they are reasoning, what they invite each other to accept are reasons. This chapter develops the norms of the activity of reasoning and uses them to contrast the two pictures. The norms fall into three categories: norms of intelligibility, reciprocity and good faith. They explain why reasons are, even on the social picture, objective and authoritative. One effect of adopting the social picture is that it provides a diagnosis of failures of reasoning that suggests that the response to failures of reasoning can be more reasoning.

Keywords: reasoning; reasons; reciprocity; objectivity; intelligibility; publicity; authority

Chapter.  14371 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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