What is inference?
- Paul Boghossian
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In some previous work, I tried to give a concept-based account of the nature of our entitlement to certain very basic inferences (see the papers in Part III of Boghossian 2008b). In this previous work, I took it for granted, along with many other philosophers, that we understood well enough what it is for a person to infer.
In this paper, I turn to thinking about the nature of inference itself. This topic is of great interest in its own right and surprisingly understudied by philosophers. A correct understanding of inference promises to shed light on a number of important topics. In particular, it threatens to undermine the sort of concept-based story about entitlement to which I had previously been attracted.
We will need to spend some time making sure that we zero in on the topic I mean to be discussing.
By “inference” I mean reasoning with beliefs. Specifically, I mean the sort of “reasoned change in view” that Harman (1986) discusses, in which you start off wi ...
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- What is inference?
Volume 169, Issue 1 , pp 1-18
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- Springer Netherlands
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- Paul Boghossian (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. NYU, New York, NY, USA