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. Confabulating Reasons.Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini & Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. The Principles of Reasoning.H. E. Cunningham & Daniel Sommer Robinson - 1926 - Philosophical Review 35 (4):386.
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. II.—Time, Truth and Inference.D. F. Pears - 1951 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 51 (1):1-24.
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  11. IV.—Inference From the Known to the Unknown.J. Watling - 1955 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55 (1):83-108.
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  12. The Inference of Mind.D. K. Adams - 1928 - Psychological Review 35 (3):235-252.
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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Moral Inference.Jean-Francois Bonnefon & Bastian Tremoliere (eds.) - forthcoming
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  20. How to Do Things with Logical Expressions: Creating Collective Value Through Co-Ordinated Reasoning.Denis Hilton, Gaëlle Villejoubert & Jean-François Bonnefon - 2005 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 6 (1):103-117.
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  21. Scepticism and the Principle of Inferential Justification.Christopher Hookway - 2000 - Philosophical Issues 10 (1):344-365.
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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. Reasons for Action.David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.) - 2010 - 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. Arguments About Arguments: Systematic, Critical, and Historical Essays in Logical Theory.Maurice A. Finocchiaro - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    Following an approach that is empirical but not psychological, and dialectical but not dialogical, in this book Maurice Finocchiaro defines concepts such as reasoning, argument, argument analysis, critical reasoning, methodological reflection, judgment, critical thinking, and informal logic. Including extended critiques of the views of many contemporary scholars, he also integrates into the discussion Arnauld's Port-Royal Logic, Gramsci's theory of intellectuals, and case studies from the history of science, particularly the work of Galileo, Newton, Huygens, and Lavoisier.
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  34. A Theory of Argument.Mark Vorobej - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
    A Theory of Argument is an advanced textbook intended for students in philosophy, communications studies and linguistics who have completed at least one course in argumentation theory, information logic, critical thinking or formal logic. Containing nearly 400 exercises, Mark Vorobej develops a novel approach to argument interpretation and evaluation. One of the key themes of the book is that we cannot succeed in distinguishing good argument from bad arguments until we learn to listen carefully to others. Part I develops a (...)
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  35. Informal Logic: A Pragmatic Approach.Douglas Walton - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    Second edition of the introductory guidebook to the basic principles of constructing sound arguments and criticising bad ones. Non-technical in approach, it is based on 186 examples, which Douglas Walton, a leading authority in the field of informal logic, discusses and evaluates in clear, illustrative detail. Walton explains how errors, fallacies, and other key failures of argument occur. He shows how correct uses of argument are based on sound strategies for reasoned persuasion and critical responses. This edition takes into account (...)
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  36. Arguing Well.John Shand - 2000 - Routledge.
    Arguing Well is a lucid introduction to the nature of good reasoning, how to test and construct successful arguments. It assumes no prior knowledge of logic or philosophy. The book includes an introduction to basic symbolic logic. Arguing Well introduces and explains: * The nature and importance of arguments * What to look for in deciding whether arguments succeed or fail * How to construct good arguments * How to make it more certain that we reason when we should The (...)
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  37. Deductive Intuitions and Lay Rationality.David Galloway - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Research 39:1-15.
    This is a discussion of L. Jonathan Cohen’s argument against the possibility that empirical psychological research might show that lay deductive competence is inconsistent. I argue that, within the framework Cohen provides, the consistency of lay deductive practice is indeterminate.
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  38. What the Internalist Should Say to the Tortoise.Richard Fumerton - 2015 - Episteme 12 (2):209-217.
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  39. Mathematical Reasoning and Heuristics.Carlo Cellucci & Donald Gillies (eds.) - 2005 - College Publications.
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  40. On Reason: Rationality in a World of Cultural Conflict and Racism.Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze - 2008 - Duke University Press.
    Given that Enlightenment rationality developed in Europe as European nations aggressively claimed other parts of the world for their own enrichment, scholars have made rationality the subject of postcolonial critique, questioning its universality and objectivity. In _On Reason_, the late philosopher Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze demonstrates that rationality, and by extension philosophy, need not be renounced as manifestations or tools of Western imperialism. Examining reason in connection to the politics of difference—the cluster of issues known variously as cultural diversity, political correctness, (...)
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  41. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods.Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl - 2002 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    The second edition of this popular compendium provides the necessary intellectual equipment to engage with and participate in effective philosophical argument, reading, and reflection Features significantly revised, updated and expanded entries, and an entirely new section drawn from methods in the history of philosophy This edition has a broad, pluralistic approach--appealing to readers in both continental philosophy and the history of philosophy, as well as analytic philosophy Explains difficult concepts in an easily accessible manner, and addresses the use and application (...)
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  42. By Parallel Reasoning.Paul Bartha - 2009 - Oxford University Press USA.
    By Parallel Reasoning is the first comprehensive philosophical examination of analogical reasoning in more than forty years designed to formulate and justify standards for the critical evaluation of analogical arguments. It proposes a normative theory with special focus on the use of analogies in mathematics and science. In recent decades, research on analogy has been dominated by computational theories whose objective has been to model analogical reasoning as a psychological process. These theories have devoted little attention to normative questions. In (...)
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  43. The Virtuous Tortoise.David Botting - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (4).
    There is no philosophically interesting distinction to be made between inference-rules and premises. That there is such a distinction is often held to follow from the possibility of infinite regress illustrated by Carroll's story of Achilles and the tortoise. I will argue that this is wrong on three separate grounds. Consequently, Carroll's fable provides no motivation to abandon the traditional logical separation of arguments into their premises and conclusions. There is no proposition that must be taken to be a rule (...)
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  44. Foundations of Geometry and Induction. [REVIEW]C. J. Ducasse - 1931 - Journal of Philosophy 28 (17):470-473.
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  45. Scientific Inference. [REVIEW]Arnold Koslow - 1960 - Journal of Philosophy 57 (12):384-391.
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  46. Scientific Inference. [REVIEW]Ernest Nagel - 1932 - Journal of Philosophy 29 (15):409-412.
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  47. Theory of Experimental Inference. [REVIEW]Carl G. Hempel - 1949 - Journal of Philosophy 46 (17):557-561.
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  48. The Problem of Inference. [REVIEW]N. E. - 1938 - Journal of Philosophy 35 (26):720-721.
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  49. Conductive Arguments and the ‘Inference to the Best Explanation’.Dean Goorden & Thomas Fischer - unknown
    I will demonstrate that conductive arguments are found in the inference to the best explana-tion as it is used in science. Conductive arguments, I argue, operate on two levels: the first is in the con-struction of hypotheses; the second is through the competition of hypotheses. By constructing arguments based on observations of facts, all possible factors are taken into account and a judgment is made based on our weighing of considerations: conductive argumentation.
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  50. Enumerative Induction.David Hitchcock - unknown
    In an enumerative induction we project a property found in all the examined members of a class to a hitherto unexamined member of that class. I consider an unresolved disagreement between Stephen Thomas and John Nolt about how likely the conclusion of one example of such reasoning is, given the premisses. Reflection on their controversy, and on the example, indicates that many textbook commonplaces about enumerative inductions are false. In particular, uniformity of the examined members of a class does not (...)
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