Psychologism and psychology

Inquiry 42 (3 & 4):487 – 504 (1999)
Abstract
This critical notice explores the distinction central to analytic philosophy between the logical study of the normative principles governing rational thought and the psychological study of the processes of thinking. Thomas Nagel maintains (1) that the fundamental principles of reasoning have normative force and make claims to universal validity; (2) that the fundamental principles of reasoning cannot be construed as the expression of contingent forms of life; and (3) that the identification of fundamental principles of reasoning should be completely independent of psychological facts about how people reason. The notice draws upon intuitionist critiques of classical logic and the Allais paradox in expected utility theory to argue that (1) can be consistently combined with the denial of (2) and (3)
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