Synthese

, Volume 194, Issue 6, pp 2007–2024 | Cite as

What reasoning might be

Article

Abstract

The philosophical literature on reasoning is dominated by the assumption that reasoning is essentially a matter of following rules. This paper challenges this view, by arguing that it misrepresents the nature of reasoning as a personal level activity. Reasoning must reflect the reasoner’s take on her evidence. The rule-following model seems ill-suited to accommodate this fact. Accordingly, this paper suggests replacing the rule-following model with a different, semantic approach to reasoning.

Keywords

Reasoning Inference Rule-following John Broome  Paul Boghossian Epistemic possibility 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank three reviewers for their generous and constructive comments. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the philosophy seminar at the University of Adelaide and the Minds Online 2015 conference. On the latter occasion I benefitted from written comments from Matt Boyle, Zoe Jenkin and Chris Tucker. I would like to thank the participants of both events for many insightful comments and suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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