About this topic
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.
Related categories
Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Reasoning

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  1. Ontology and Cognitive Outcomes (Preprint).David Limbaugh, David Kasmier, Ronald Rudnicki, James Llinas & Barry Smith - 2020 - In arXiv.
    The intelligence community relies on human-machine-based analytic strategies that 1) access and integrate vast amounts of information from disparate sources, 2) continuously process this information, so that, 3) a maximally comprehensive understanding of world actors and their behaviors can be developed and updated. Herein we describe an approach to utilizing outcomes-based learning (OBL) to support these efforts that is based on an ontology of the cognitive processes performed by intelligence analysts.
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  2. Meinungsfreiheit Und Die Kommunikative Strategie der Rechtspopulisten.David Lanius - 2020 - In Tanjev Schultz (ed.), Was darf man sagen? Meinungsfreiheit im Zeitalter des Populismus. Stuttgart, Deutschland: Kohlhammer. pp. 75-112.
    Um die Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit wird Tag für Tag gerungen - auch in Deutschland, wo sie im Grundgesetz verankert ist. Was darf man sagen? Wie weit geht die Meinungsfreiheit? Wo endet die Toleranz? Diese Fragen müssen immer wieder auf ein Neues beantwortet werden. Auch in der Demokratie wird die Meinungsfreiheit bedroht. Politscher Populismus und verrohte Kommunikation im Internet stellen das Grundrecht auf die Probe. Rechtsextremisten inszenieren sich als Opfer einer vermeintlichen Meinungsdiktatur, Hasskommentare zerstören die Streitkultur und provozieren neue Gesetze, die (...)
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  3. Transparent Delusion.Vladimir Krstić - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):183-201.
    In this paper, I examine a kind of delusion in which the patients judge that their occurrent thoughts are false and try to abandon them precisely because they are false, but fail to do so. I call this delusion transparent, since it is transparent to the sufferer that their thought is false. In explaining this phenomenon, I defend a particular two-factor theory of delusion that takes the proper integration of relevant reasoning processes as vital for thought-evaluation. On this proposal, which (...)
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  4. A Puzzle About Enkratic Reasoning.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Enkratic reasoning – reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing – seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is (...)
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  5. Confabulating Reasons.Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini & Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):189-201.
    In this paper, I will focus on a type of confabulation that emerges in relation to questions about mental attitudes whose causes we cannot introspectively access. I argue against two popular views that see confabulations as mainly offering a psychological story about ourselves. On these views, confabulations are the result of either a cause-tracking mechanism or a self-directed mindreading mechanism. In contrast, I propose the view that confabulations are mostly telling a normative story: they are arguments primarily offered to justify (...)
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  6. A Broomean Model of Rationality and Reasoning.Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras & Robert Sugden - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (11):585-614.
    John Broome has developed an account of rationality and reasoning which gives philosophical foundations for choice theory and the psychology of rational agents. We formalize his account into a model that differs from ordinary choice-theoretic models through focusing on psychology and the reasoning process. Within that model, we ask Broome’s central question of whether reasoning can make us more rational: whether it allows us to acquire transitive preferences, consistent beliefs, non-akratic intentions, and so on. We identify three structural types of (...)
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  7. Knowing Our Limits.Nathan Ballantyne - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Changing our minds isn't easy. Even when we recognize our views are disputed by intelligent and informed people, we rarely doubt our rightness. Why is this so? How can we become more open-minded, putting ourselves in a better position to tolerate conflict, advance collective inquiry, and learn from differing perspectives in a complex world? -/- Nathan Ballantyne defends the indispensable role of epistemology in tackling these issues. For early modern philosophers, the point of reflecting on inquiry was to understand how (...)
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  8. Influence of World Knowledge and Context on the Comprehension of Natural Language Translation of Logical Formulas.Luca Cilibrasi & Matteo Pascucci - 2013 - In Chiara Ciarlo & Davide Giannoni (eds.), Language Studies Working Papers. Reading: University of Reading. pp. 13-21.
    In this paper we present an approach to conditional reasoning tasks based on two main ideas. The first idea is that, in contrast with what is usually assumed, an ‘if… then…’ sentence is not an adequate translation in natural language of a logical formula containing a material implication as its principal operator. The second idea is that when subjects are required to check the validity of a sentence in a task, their inferences are not driven uniquely by the content of (...)
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  9. Crítica de la Razón Moderna.Juan Manuel Díaz-Torres (ed.) - 2008 - Valencia, España: Tirant lo Blanch.
    La superación del racionalismo y del relativismo no ha podido gestarse con fecundidad. Posiblemente porque el absolutismo racionalista -que salva la razón a costa de anular la vida- y el relativismo -que salva la vida negando la razón- se han desplazado en una dimensión única que imposibilitaba la insumisión a ese dilema vertebrado por una concepción absolutista de la verdad y que nos constriñe a instalarnos en alguno de sus términos. La constante aparición del nexo entre los problemas antropológicos más (...)
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  10. The Reliability of Inductive Inferences and Our Innate Capacities.Nathan Stemmer - 1978 - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 9 (1):93-105.
    One of the important problems that have to be dealt with in the Philosophy of Science is to account for the high reliability of a very large part of our inductive inferences. This reliability is noteworthy because not only were many of these inferences made by ordinary people, even by children, but they were very often based on the observation of just a few positive instances. In the present paper, I deal with this problem by treating it as a normal (...)
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  11. Reasoning with Reasons.Daniel Star - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 241-59.
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  12. Defeasibility and Inferential Particularism.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (1):80-98.
    In this paper I argue that defeasible inferences are occasion-sensitive: the inferential connections of a given claim depend on features of the circumstances surrounding the occasion of inference. More specifically, it is an occasion-sensitive matter which possible defeaters have to be considered explicitly by the premises of an inference and which possible defeaters may remain unconsidered, without making the inference enthymematic. As a result, a largely unexplored form of occasion-sensitivity arises in inferentialist theories of content that appeal to defeasible inferences.
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  13. A Multi-INT Semantic Reasoning Framework for Intelligence Analysis Support.Janssen Terry, Basik Herbert, Dean Mike & Barry Smith - 2010 - In L. Obrst, Terry Janssen & W. Ceusters (eds.), Ontologies and Semantic Technologies for the Intelligence Community. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press. pp. 57-69.
    Lockheed Martin Corp. has funded research to generate a framework and methodology for developing semantic reasoning applications to support the discipline oflntelligence Analysis. This chapter outlines that framework, discusses how it may be used to advance the information sharing and integrated analytic needs of the Intelligence Community, and suggests a system I software architecture for such applications.
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  14. Alfredo Deaño and the Non-Accidental Transition of Thought.Maria G. Navarro - 2016 - Archives for the Philosohy and History of Soft Computing (1):1-13.
    If the cultural variations concerning knowledge and research on ordinary reasoning are part of cultural history, what kind of historiographical method is needed in order to present the history of its evolution? This paper proposes to introduce the study of theories of reasoning into a historiographic perspective because we assume that the answer to the previous question does not only depend of internal controversies about how reasoning performance is explained by current theories of reasoning. [...].
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  15. Relevance and Reason Relations.Niels Skovgaard‐Olsen, Henrik Singmann & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1202-1215.
    This paper examines precursors and consequents of perceived relevance of a proposition A for a proposition C. In Experiment 1, we test Spohn's assumption that ∆P = P − P is a good predictor of ratings of perceived relevance and reason relations, and we examine whether it is a better predictor than the difference measure − P). In Experiment 2, we examine the effects of relevance on probabilistic coherence in Cruz, Baratgin, Oaksford, and Over's uncertain “and-to-if” inferences. The results suggest (...)
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  16. Foundations of Geometry and Induction.C. J. Ducasse - 1931 - Journal of Philosophy 28 (17):470-473.
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  17. BonJour’s Defense of Induction: An A Priorist Way Out?: Dialogue.Kevin Kimble - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (3):449-476.
    Laurence BonJour has proposed a novel defense of the inductive principle in response to a skeptical challenge posed by Hume. In this paper, I elaborate and criticize BonJour’s strategy. Along the way, I draw attention to Anthony Brueckner’s criticisms of BonJour’s approach, detailing why they fall short of providing an effective rebuttal of BonJour’s argument. By distinguishing and applying two different kinds of probability assessment to BonJour’s premises, I argue that BonJour’s a priori strategy fails to provide a cogent defense (...)
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  18. The Psychology of Reasoning. [REVIEW]Alfred Binet - 1900 - Ancient Philosophy (Misc) 10:149.
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  19. Reasoning: A Social Picture. By Anthony Simon Laden.Adam Morton - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):843-846.
    review of Laden's *Reasoning: a social picture* praising the aim and expressing puzzlement at the details,.
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  20. Douglas Walton, The Appeal to Pity: Argumentum Ad Misericordiam.Alan G. Gross - 1999 - Pragmatics and Cognition 7 (1):223-226.
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  21. Methods and Criteria of Reasoning: An Inquiry Into the Structure of Controversy.Clyde Laurence Hardin - 1960 - Philosophy of Science 27 (3):319-320.
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  22. Deduction, Induction and Causality.David F. Siemens Jr - 1981 - Philosophical Inquiry 3 (2):117-125.
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  23. The Principles of Reasoning.H. E. Cunningham - 1926 - Philosophical Review 35 (4):386.
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  24. Inductive Reasoning: Experimental, Developmental, and Computational Approaches.Aidan Feeney & Evan Heit (eds.) - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    Without inductive reasoning, we couldn't generalize from one instance to another, derive scientific hypotheses, or predict that the sun will rise again tomorrow morning. Despite the widespread nature of inductive reasoning, books on this topic are rare. Indeed, this is the first book on the psychology of inductive reasoning in twenty years. The chapters survey recent advances in the study of inductive reasoning and address questions about how it develops, the role of knowledge in induction, how best to model people's (...)
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  25. Developing the Horizons of the Mind: Relational and Contextual Reasoning and the Resolution of Cognitive Conflict.K. Helmut Reich - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    Developing the Horizons of the Mind is a comprehensive book on Relational and Contextual Reasoning, a theory of the human mind which powerfully addresses key areas of human conflict such as the ideological conflict between nations, the conflict in close relationships and the conflict between science and religion. K. Helmut Reich provides a clear and accessible introduction to the fresh RCR way of thinking that encourages people to adopt an inclusive rather than an oppositional approach to conflict and problem-solving. Part (...)
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  26. Experience and Conduct: A Philosophical Enquiry Into Practical Thinking.Stephan Körner - 1976 - Cambridge University Press.
    First published in 1976, this is a comprehensive study of practical thinking. Professor Körner shows the complex relations which a person's practical attitudes bear to each other, and shows in particular how their moral or prudential character depends not only on their content and form but also on their place in the system constituted by them. There are detailed accounts of the concepts of morality, prudence, justice, welfare and legality, as well as the logical foundations, epistemology and metaphysics of practical (...)
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  27. II.—Time, Truth and Inference.D. F. Pears - 1950 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 51 (1):1-24.
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  28. IV.—Inference From the Known to the Unknown.John Watling - 1954 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55 (1):83-108.
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  29. The Inference of Mind.D. K. Adams - 1928 - Psychological Review 35 (3):235-252.
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  30. Ecological and Evolutionary Validity: Comments on Johnson-Laird, Legrenzi, Girotto, Legrenzi, and Caverni's Mental-Model Theory of Extensional Reasoning.Gary L. Brase - 2002 - Psychological Review 109 (4):722-728.
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  31. Propositional Reasoning by Model?Luca Bonatti - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (4):725-733.
    Two theories of propositional deductive reasoning are considered: the mental models of P. N. Johnson-Laird et al and the mental logic of M. D. Braine. The model theory is said to account for practically all of the known phenomena of deductive propositional reasoning, offer a general theory of conditionals, account for the most important aspects of Braine's theory, and predict new phenomena that rule theories cannot explain. It is argued that the model theory is flawed in a way that is (...)
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  32. Reasoning About Relations.Geoffrey P. Goodwin & Philip Johnson-Laird - 2005 - Psychological Review 112 (2):468-493.
    Inferences about spatial, temporal, and other relations are ubiquitous. This article presents a novel model-based theory of such reasoning. The theory depends on 5 principles. The structure of mental models is iconic as far as possible. The logical consequences of relations emerge from models constructed from the meanings of the relations and from knowledge. Individuals tend to construct only a single, typical model. They spontaneously develop their own strategies for relational reasoning. Regardless of strategy, the difficulty of an inference depends (...)
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  33. Mistakes of Reason: Essays in Honour of John Woods.Kent A. Peacock & Andrew D. Irvine (eds.) - 2005 - University of Toronto Press.
    The essays evaluate Woods' work and celebrate the generous contribution that he has made to Canada?s intellectual development over the past forty years.
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  34. Analogical Deduction Via a Calculus of Predicables.Joseph P. Li Vecchi - 2014 - Logik, Naturphilosophie, Dialektik, Zur Modernen Deutung der Aristotelischen Logik, 10.
    The deductive validity of arguments from analogy is formally demonstrable. After a brief survey of the historical development of doctrines relevant to this claim the present article analyzes the “analogy of proper proportionality”, which meets two requirements of valid deduction. First, the referents of analogues by proportionality must belong to a common genus. Here it must be cautioned, however, that the common genus does not constitute the basis of the deductive inference. Rather, it is a prerequisite for the second and (...)
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  35. The Poetic Syllogism: Foray Into an Inductive Research Proposal.K. Owen & A. David - 2016 - In William Granara, Roy P. Mottahedeh, Wheeler M. Thackston & Alireza Korangy (eds.), Essays in Islamic Philology, History, and Philosophy. De Gruyter. pp. 240-247.
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  36. Der Ort der Vernunft in Einer Natürlichen Welt. Logische Und an­Thro­Pologi­Sche Ortsbestimmungen.Wolf-Jürgen Cramm & Geert Keil (eds.) - 2008 - Velbrück Wissenschaft.
    Wie ist der Ort der Vernunft in einer natürlichen Welt zu bestimmen? Diese Frage hat wörtliche und metaphorische Lesarten. Im wörtlichen Sinne kann die Vernunft schwerlich einen Ort haben, wohingegen wir als vernunftfähige Wesen zugleich in der natürlichen Welt situiert sind. Man kann aber sinnvoll nach dem logischen Ort der Vernunft fragen, also danach, wie sich die Rede über Vernünftiges oder potentiell Vernünftiges zur Rede über Natürliches verhält. In der metaphorischen Lesart lautet die Frage, in welchem logischen oder begrifflichen Verhältnis (...)
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  37. Moral Inference.Jean-Francois Bonnefon & Bastian Tremoliere (eds.) - forthcoming
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  38. How to Do Things with Logical Expressions: Creating Collective Value Through Co-Ordinated Reasoning.Denis Hilton, Gaëlle Villejoubert & Jean-François Bonnefon - 2005 - Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 6 (1):103-117.
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  39. Scepticism and the Principle of Inferential Justification.Christopher Hookway - 2000 - Philosophical Issues 10 (1):344-365.
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  40. Verifying Time, Memory and Communication Bounds in Systems of Reasoning Agents.Natasha Alechina, Brian Logan, Hoang Nga Nguyen & Abdur Rakib - 2009 - 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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  41. Epistemic and Dialectical Models of Begging the Question.Douglas Walton - 2006 - Synthese 152 (2):237-284.
    This paper addresses the problem posed by the current split between the two opposed hypotheses in the growing literature on the fallacy of begging the question the epistemic hypothesis, based on knowledge and belief, and the dialectical one, based on formal dialogue systems. In the first section, the nature of split is explained, and it is shown how each hypothesis has developed. To get the beginning reader up to speed in the literature, a number of key problematic examples are analyzed (...)
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  42. Induction, Normality and Reasoning with Arbitrary Objects.Markos Valaris - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4).
    This paper concerns the apparent fact — discussed by Sinan Dogramaci and Brian Weatherson — that inductive reasoning often interacts in disastrous ways with patterns of reasoning that seem perfectly fine in the deductive case. In contrast to Dogramaci's and Weatherson's own suggestions, I argue that these cases show that we cannot reason inductively about arbitrary objects. Moreover, as I argue, this prohibition is neatly explained by a certain hypothesis about the rational basis of inductive reasoning — namely, the hypothesis (...)
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  43. Reliable Reasoning: Induction and Statistical Learning Theory.Gilbert Harman & Sanjeev Kulkarni - 2007 - Bradford.
    In _Reliable Reasoning_, Gilbert Harman and Sanjeev Kulkarni -- a philosopher and an engineer -- argue that philosophy and cognitive science can benefit from statistical learning theory, the theory that lies behind recent advances in machine learning. The philosophical problem of induction, for example, is in part about the reliability of inductive reasoning, where the reliability of a method is measured by its statistically expected percentage of errors -- a central topic in SLT. After discussing philosophical attempts to evade the (...)
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  44. The Covenant of Reason: Rationality and the Commitments of Thought.Isaac Levi - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    Isaac Levi is one of the preeminent philosophers in the areas of pragmatic rationality and epistemology. This collection of essays constitutes an important presentation of his original and influential ideas about rational choice and belief. A wide range of topics is covered, including consequentialism and sequential choice, consensus, voluntarism of belief, and the tolerance of the opinions of others. The essays elaborate on the idea that principles of rationality are norms that regulate the coherence of our beliefs and values with (...)
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  45. Knowledge, Belief, and Strategic Interaction.Cristina Bicchieri & Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara (eds.) - 1992 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 volume brings together the work of some of the pre-eminent 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 the formal models of (...)
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  46. Rationality and Dynamic Choice: Foundational Explorations.Edward F. McClennen - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a major contribution to the theory of rational choice which will be of particular interest to philosophers and economists. The author sets out the foundations of rational choice, and then sketches a dynamic choice framework in which principles of ordering and independence follow from a number of apparently plausible conditions. However, there is potential conflict among these conditions, and when they are weakened to avoid it the usual foundations of rational choice no longer prevail. The thrust of the (...)
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  47. Reasons for Action.David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.) - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    What are our reasons for acting? Morality purports to give us these reasons, and so do norms of prudence and the laws of society. The theory of practical reason assesses the authority of these potentially competing claims, and for this reason philosophers with a wide range of interests have converged on the topic of reasons for action. This volume contains eleven essays on practical reason by leading and emerging philosophers. Topics include the differences between practical and theoretical rationality, practical conditionals (...)
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  48. How We Get Along.J. David Velleman - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    In How We Get Along, philosopher David Velleman compares our social interactions to the interactions among improvisational actors on stage. He argues that we play ourselves - not artificially but authentically, by doing what would make sense coming from us as we really are. And, like improvisational actors, we deal with one another in dual capacities: both as characters within the social drama and as players contributing to the shared performance. In this conception of social intercourse, Velleman finds rational grounds (...)
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  49. Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation.Douglas Walton - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation presents the basic tools for the identification, analysis, and evaluation of common arguments for beginners. The book teaches by using examples of arguments in dialogues, both in the text itself and in the exercises. Examples of controversial legal, political, and ethical arguments are analyzed. Illustrating the most common kinds of arguments, the book also explains how to evaluate each kind by critical questioning. Douglas Walton shows how arguments can be reasonable under the right dialogue conditions by (...)
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  50. Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays.Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.) - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyse 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 degree (...)
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