The Content of Deduction

Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (2):317-334 (2012)
For deductive reasoning to be justified, it must be guaranteed to preserve truth from premises to conclusion; and for it to be useful to us, it must be capable of informing us of something. How can we capture this notion of information content, whilst respecting the fact that the content of the premises, if true, already secures the truth of the conclusion? This is the problem I address here. I begin by considering and rejecting several accounts of informational content. I then develop an account on which informational contents are indeterminate in their membership. This allows there to be cases in which it is indeterminate whether a given deduction is informative. Nevertheless, on the picture I present, there are determinate cases of informative (and determinate cases of uninformative) inferences. I argue that the model I offer is the best way for an account of content to respect the meaning of the logical constants and the inference rules associated with them without collapsing into a classical picture of content, unable to account for informative deductive inferences.
Keywords Content  Information  Deduction  Inference  Epistemic scenarios
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10992-011-9222-2
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Mark Jago, The Content of Deduction
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Jaakko Hintikka (1962). Knowledge and Belief. Ithaca, N.Y.,Cornell University Press.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
John Dilworth (2007). Representationalism and Indeterminate Perceptual Content. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (3):369-387.
Frank Hofmann (2001). The Reference of de Re Representations. Grazer Philosophische Studien 62 (1):83-101.
William S. Larkin (2000). Content Skepticism. Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (1):33-43.
Brian Loar (1988). Social Content and Psychological Content. In Robert H. Grimm & D. D. Merrill (eds.), Contents of Thought. University of Arizona Press

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

360 ( #1,711 of 1,725,584 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

72 ( #13,804 of 1,725,584 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.