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Summary Reasoning is the reasoned change of belief (and related mental states). Reasoning differs, for example, from daydreaming and from spontaneous changes of belief. A central issue in the study of reasoning is to characterize reasoning: Just what is it to reason as opposed to change one's beliefs in some other way? A second issue in the study of reasoning is normative. Some reasoning counts as good reasoning. Other counts as bad reasoning. Which forms of reasoning are good -- that is, are rational, or preserve justification or knowledge? What makes it the case that those kinds of reasoning are good? Reasoning is typically divided into two kinds -- deductive and inductive (or ampliative). In a good deductive inference, the premises of the reasoning logically entail the conclusion. In a good inductive inference, the premises of the reasoning do not entail the conclusion though they do support it. Part of the philosophical study of reasoning involves the study of these kinds of reasoning (and various further sub-kinds).
Key works Reasoning is a highly heterogenous topic. It is recommended that the key works of the sub-categories be consulted.
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  1. Jonathan E. Adler (1982). Jennifer Trusted, "The Logic of Scientific Inference". [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 32 (28):291.
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  2. Joseph Agassi (1970). Positive Evidence in Science and Technology. Philosophy of Science 37 (2):261-270.
    If the problem of induction were soluble, it should be solved inductively: by observing how scientists observe, etc. The fact is that scientific research is successful, and the real question is, will it be so in future? If there is a formula of induction by which success is achieved, then by this formula we can say, as long as it will be used science will succeed. If there is no formula it looks as if future success in scientific research is (...)
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  3. Natasha Alechina, Brian Logan, Hoang Nga Nguyen & Abdur Rakib (2009). Verifying Time, Memory and Communication Bounds in Systems of Reasoning Agents. Synthese 169 (2):385 - 403.
    We present a framework for verifying systems composed of heterogeneous reasoning agents, in which each agent may have differing knowledge and inferential capabilities, and where the resources each agent is prepared to commit to a goal (time, memory and communication bandwidth) are bounded. The framework allows us to investigate, for example, whether a goal can be achieved if a particular agent, perhaps possessing key information or inferential capabilities, is unable (or unwilling) to contribute more than a given portion of its (...)
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  4. A. P. Alekseev (2006). Filosofskiĭ Tekst: Idei, Argumentat͡sii͡a, Obrazy. Progress-Tradit͡sii͡a.
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  5. Atocha Aliseda (2007). Abductive Reasoning: Challenges Ahead. Theoria 22 (3):261-270.
    The motivation behind the collection of papers presented in this THEORIA forum on Abductive reasoning is my book Abductive Reasoning: Logical Investigations into the Processes of Discovery and Explanation. These contributions raise fundamental questions. One of them concerns the conjectural character of abduction. The choice of a logical framework for abduction is also discussed in detail, both its inferential aspect and search strategies. Abduction is also analyzed as inference to the best explanation, as well as a process of epistemic change, (...)
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  6. Catherine Allamel-Raffin (2007). La Raison Et le Réel. Ellipses.
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  7. Robert Almeder (1989). Scientific Realism and Explanation. American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3):173 - 185.
    Assuming for the sake of discussion that there is an external world, The "core" thesis of scientific realism is that some of our empirical beliefs (including the so-Called theoretical beliefs) succeed in correctly describing, In some important measure, The external world. Classical scientific realism also asserts that we are able to say justifiably just "which" of our beliefs so succeed in correctly describing the external world. This paper does not examine this last claim. Rather it seeks to defend the core (...)
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  8. Robert P. Amico (1986). On the Vindication of Deduction and Induction. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (3):322 – 330.
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  9. Ian H. Angus (1984). Technique and Enlightenment: Limits of Instrumental Reason. University Press of America.
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  10. Dan Ariely (2010). The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home. Harper.
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  11. Justin D. Arms & Daniel Jacobson (2009). Regret and Irrational Action. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
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  12. Alberto Artosi (2005). Breve Storia Della Ragione: Dai Presocratici Alle Multinazionali. Liguori.
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  13. Sylvain Auroux (1981). Falsification Et Induction. Dialogue 20 (02):281-307.
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  14. Michael Bacharach (1992). Backward Induction and Beliefs About Oneself. Synthese 91 (3):247 - 284.
    According to decision theory, the rational initial action in a sequential decision-problem may be found by backward induction or folding back. But the reasoning which underwrites this claim appeals to the agent's beliefs about what she will later believe, about what she will later believe she will still later believe, and so forth. There are limits to the depth of people's beliefs. Do these limits pose a threat to the standard theory of rational sequential choice? It is argued, first, that (...)
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  15. Julia R. Badger & Laura R. Shapiro (2014). Category Structure Affects the Developmental Trajectory of Children's Inductive Inferences for Both Natural Kinds and Artefacts. Thinking and Reasoning 21 (2):206-229.
    Inductive reasoning is fundamental to human cognition, yet it remains unclear how we develop this ability and what might influence our inductive choices. We created novel categories in which crucial factors such as domain and category structure were manipulated orthogonally. We trained 403 4–9-year-old children to categorise well-matched natural kind and artefact stimuli with either featural or relational category structure, followed by induction tasks. This wide age range allowed for the first full exploration of the developmental trajectory of inductive reasoning (...)
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  16. Julian Baggini (2008). The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher. Plume.
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  17. Julian Baggini (2008). The Duck That Won the Lottery: And 99 Other Bad Arguments. Granta.
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  18. Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl (2010). The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This second edition of "The Philosopher's Toolkit" provides readers with the essential tools -- the intellectual equipment - necessary for participating in thoughtful philosophical argument, reading and reflection.
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  19. Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl (2003). The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods. Blackwell Publishers.
    Basic tools for arguments -- More advanced tools -- Tools for assessment -- Tools for conceptual distinctions -- Tools of historical schools and philosophers -- Tools for radical critique -- Tools at the limit.
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  20. Linden J. Ball & Edward J. N. Stupple (2008). Belief-Logic Conflict Resolution in Syllogistic Reasoning: Inspection-Time Evidence for a Parallel-Process Model. Thinking and Reasoning 14 (2):168-181.
    An experiment is reported examining dual-process models of belief bias in syllogistic reasoning using a problem complexity manipulation and an inspection-time method to monitor processing latencies for premises and conclusions. Endorsement rates indicated increased belief bias on complex problems, a finding that runs counter to the “belief-first” selective scrutiny model, but which is consistent with other theories, including “reasoning-first” and “parallel-process” models. Inspection-time data revealed a number of effects that, again, arbitrated against the selective scrutiny model. The most striking inspection-time (...)
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  21. Renford Bambrough (1974). Conflict and the Scope of Reason. Hull,University of Hull.
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  22. B. C. Bara, P. N. Johnson-Laird & V. Lombarde (1994). Mental Models in Prepositional Reasoning. In Ashwin Ram & Kurt Eiselt (eds.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Erlbaum. 16--15.
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  23. Sylvan Barnet (ed.) (2011/2014). Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. Bedford/St Martin's.
    The unique collaborative effort of a professor of English and a professor of philosophy, Current Issues and Enduring Questions is a balanced and flexible book that provides the benefits of the authors’ dual expertise in effective persuasive writing and rigorous critical thinking. Refined through eight widely adopted editions, it has been revised to address current student interests and trends in argument, research, and writing. Its comprehensive coverage of classic and contemporary approaches to argument includes Aristotle, Toulmin, and a range of (...)
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  24. Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.) (2004). Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays. Cambridge.
    Practical conflicts pervade human life. Agents have many different desires, goals, and commitments, all of which can come into conflict with each other. How can practical reasoning help to resolve these practical conflicts? In this collection of new essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyze the diverse forms of practical conflict. Their aim is to establish an understanding of the sources of these conflicts, to investigate the challenge they pose to an adequate conception of practical reasoning, and to assess the (...)
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  25. William L. Benoit, Dale Hample & Pamela J. Benoit (eds.) (1992). Readings in Argumentation. Foris Publications.
    Introduction: the Study of Argumentation Although our overall organization of the readings suggests one way of dividing our selected literature, ...
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  26. Cristina Bicchieri, Dalla Chiara & Maria Luisa (eds.) (1992). Knowledge, Belief, and Strategic Interaction. Cambridge University Press.
    In recent years there has been a great deal of interaction among game theorists, philosophers, and logicians in certain foundational problems concerning rationality, the formalization of knowledge and practical reasoning, and models of learning and deliberation. This unique volume brings together the work of some of the preeminent figures in their respective disciplines, all of whom are engaged in research at the forefront of their fields. Together they offer a conspectus of the interaction of game theory, logic, and epistemology in (...)
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  27. Nick Bostrom, Cortical Integration: Possible Solutions to the Binding and Linking Problems in Perception, Reasoning and Long Term Memory.
    The problem of cortical integration is described and various proposed solutions, including grandmother cells, cell assemblies, feed-forward structures, RAAM and synchronization, are reviewed. One method, involving complex attractors, that has received little attention in the literature, is explained and developed. I call this binding through annexation. A simulation study is then presented which suggests ways in which complex attractors could underlie our capacity to reason. The paper ends with a discussion of the efficiency and biological plausibility of the proposals as (...)
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  28. Raymond Boudon (1994). The Art of Self-Persuasion: The Social Explanation of False Beliefs. Polity.
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  29. Christophe Bouriau (2005). Induction et déduction. Philosophia Scientiae 9 (1):73-81.
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  30. Ed Brandon (1983). Argument Analysis. U.W.I. Mona.
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  31. Michael Bratman (2009). Intention, Belief, and Instrumental Rationality. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. 13--36.
    Two approaches to instrumental rationality Suppose I intend end E, believe that a necessary means to E is M, and believe that M requires that I intend M. My attitudes concerning E and M engage a basic requirement of practical rationality, a requirement that, barring a change in my cited beliefs, I either intend M or give up intending E.2 Call this the Instrumental Rationality requirement – for short, the IR requirement.
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  32. Gerhard Brewka (1991). Nonmonotonic Reasoning: Logical Foundations of Commonsense. Cambridge University Press.
    In this book the author gives a broad overview of different areas of research in nonmonotonic reasoning, and presents some new results and ideas based on his research. The guiding principles are: clarification of the different research activities in the area, which have sometimes been undertaken independently of each other; and appreciation of the fact that these research activities often represent different means to the same ends, namely sound theoretical foundations and efficient computation. The book begins with a discussion of (...)
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  33. Alexander Broadie (1968). The Practical Syllogism. Analysis 29 (1):26 - 28.
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  34. G. Buchdahl (1956). Inductive Process and Inductive Inference. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):164 – 181.
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  35. Grzegorz Bugajak & Jacek Tomczyk (eds.) (2009). Swoistość Człowieka?: Rozumność. Wydawn. Uniwersytetu Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego.
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  36. Joseph L. Camp (2002). Confusion: A Study in the Theory of Knowledge. Harvard University Press.
    To attribute confusion to someone is to take up a paternalistic stance in evaluating his reasoning.
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  37. S. Cannavo (1998). Think to Win: The Power of Logic in Everyday Life. Prometheus Books.
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  38. Nicholas Capaldi (2007). The Art of Deception: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Prometheus Books.
    Identifying arguments -- Formal analysis of arguments -- Presenting your case -- Attacking an argument -- Defending your case -- Cause-and-effect reasoning.
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  39. Adelino Cattani (ed.) (2009). La Svolta Argomentativa: 50 Anni Dopo Perelman E Toulmin. Loffredo University Press.
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  40. Nancy Cavender (1978/2010). Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life. Wadsworth Pub. Co..
    This logic book puts critical-thinking skills into a context that you'll remember and use throughout your life.
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  41. J. B. Cederblom (2012). Critical Reasoning: Understanding and Criticizing Arguments and Theories. Cengage.
    In this era of increased polarization of opinion and contentious disagreement, CRITICAL REASONING presents a cooperative approach to critical thinking and formation of beliefs. CRITICAL REASONING emphasizes the importance of developing and applying analytical skills in real life contexts. This book is unique in providing multiple, diverse examples of everyday arguments, both textual and visual, including hard to find long argument passages from real-life sources. The book provides clear, step-by-step procedures to help you decide for yourself what to believe--to be (...)
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  42. Ruth Chang (2009). Voluntarist Reasons and the Sources of Normativity. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
    In virtue of what does a consideration provide a practical reason? Suppose the fact that an experience is painful provides you with a reason to avoid it. In virtue of what does the fact that it’s painful have the normativity of a reason – where, in other words, does its normativity come from? As some philosophers put the question, what is the source of a reason’s normativity?
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  43. Joseph T. Clark (1952). The Discovery of the Syllogism. Philosophical Studies of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 3:7-8.
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  44. Philip Clark (2009). Mackie's Motivational Argument. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
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  45. John D. Coley, Douglas L. Medin, Julia Beth Proffitt, Elizabeth Lynch & Scott Atran (1999). Inductive Reasoning in Folkbiological Thought. In D. Medin & S. Atran (eds.), Folkbiology. Mit Press. 211-12.
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  46. Anthony Collins (1707/1984). An Essay Concerning the Use of Reasons in Propositions ; a Discourse of Free-Thinking. Garland.
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  47. Filippo Costa (2005). Logica E Verità. Ets.
    1. Ricerche informali -- 2. La verità trascendentale.
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  48. Franca D'Agostini (2010). Verità Avvelenata: Buoni E Cattivi Argomenti Nel Dibattito Pubblico. Bollati Boringhieri.
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  49. Marcos Rodrigues da Silva (2010). Inferência da melhor explicação: Peter Lipton e o debate realismo/anti-realismo. Princípios 17 (27):303-312.
    Apresentaçáo da traduçáo do artigo der Peter Lipton: "Is the Best Good Enough?" (publicado em 1993 no Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society , vol. XCIII, parte 2, pp. 89-104).
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  50. Stephen Darwall (2009). Authority and Second Personal Reasons for Acting. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
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