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.
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  1. The Inference of Mind.D. K. Adams - 1928 - Psychological Review 35 (3):235-252.
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  2. On the Uncertainties Transmitted From Premises to Conclusions in Deductive Inferences.Ernest W. Adams & Howard P. Levine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):429 - 460.
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  3. Review of Renee Elio (Ed.), Common Sense, Reasoning, and Rationality[REVIEW]Jonathan E. Adler - 2002 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (11).
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  4. Jennifer Trusted, "The Logic of Scientific Inference". [REVIEW]Jonathan E. Adler - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (28):291.
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  5. Positive Evidence in Science and Technology.Joseph Agassi - 1970 - 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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  6. 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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  7. Filosofskiĭ Tekst: Idei, Argumentat͡sii͡a, Obrazy.A. P. Alekseev - 2006 - Progress-Tradit͡sii͡a.
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  8. Abductive Reasoning: Challenges Ahead.Atocha Aliseda - 2007 - 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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  9. La Raison Et le Réel.Catherine Allamel-Raffin - 2007 - Ellipses.
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  10. Scientific Realism and Explanation.Robert Almeder - 1989 - 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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  11. On the Vindication of Deduction and Induction.Robert P. Amico - 1986 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (3):322 – 330.
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  12. Technique and Enlightenment: Limits of Instrumental Reason.Ian H. Angus - 1984 - University Press of America.
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  13. The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.Dan Ariely - 2010 - Harper.
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  14. Regret and Irrational Action.Justin D. Arms & Daniel Jacobson - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
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  15. The Identification Problem and the Inference Problem.D. M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (2):421 - 422.
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  16. Breve Storia Della Ragione: Dai Presocratici Alle Multinazionali.Alberto Artosi - 2005 - Liguori.
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  17. Problems with Persistence.Nicholas Asher - 1994 - Topoi 13 (1):37-49.
    A fundamental question in reasoning about change is, what information does a reasoning agent infer about later times from earlier times? I will argue that reasoning about change by an agent is to be modeled in terms of the persistence of the agent''s beliefs over time rather than the persistence of truth and that such persistence is explained by pragmatic factors about how agents acquire information from other agents rather than by general principles of persistence about states of the world. (...)
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  18. Revising Conditional Reasoning by Means of Selection Task.Miguel Lopez Astorga - 2004 - Dissertation, Universidad de Cadiz (Spain)
    This paper contains an analysis of conditional reasoning. The author uses, with such a purpose, a famous and controversial exercise: Peter Wason's four cards selection task. The interest of this task is that adult experimental characters with normal intellectual capacities are habitually unable to execute this simple logical problem correctly. There are several theories that have arisen since 1966, the year in which Wason presented his original version of the task, until today, with the desire of explaining the anomalous results (...)
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  19. Falsification Et Induction.Sylvain Auroux - 1981 - Dialogue 20 (2):281-307.
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  20. Backward Induction and Beliefs About Oneself.Michael Bacharach - 1992 - 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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  21. Category Structure Affects the Developmental Trajectory of Children's Inductive Inferences for Both Natural Kinds and Artefacts.Julia R. Badger & Laura R. Shapiro - 2014 - 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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  22. The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher.Julian Baggini - 2008 - Plume.
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  23. The Duck That Won the Lottery: And 99 Other Bad Arguments.Julian Baggini - 2008 - Granta.
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  24. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods.Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl - 2010 - 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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  25. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods.Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl - 2003 - Blackwell.
    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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  26. The Theory of Reasoning.Samuel Bailey - 1851
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  27. Belief-Logic Conflict Resolution in Syllogistic Reasoning: Inspection-Time Evidence for a Parallel-Process Model.Linden J. Ball & Edward J. N. Stupple - 2008 - 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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  28. Conflict and the Scope of Reason.Renford Bambrough - 1974 - Hull, University of Hull.
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  29. Mental Models in Prepositional Reasoning.B. C. Bara, P. N. Johnson-Laird & V. Lombarde - 1994 - In Ashwin Ram & Kurt Eiselt (eds.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Erlbaum. pp. 16--15.
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  30. Uncertain Reasoning About Agents' Beliefs and Reasoning.John A. Barnden - 2001 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 9 (2-3):115-152.
    Reasoning about mental states and processes is important in varioussubareas of the legal domain. A trial lawyer might need to reason andthe beliefs, reasoning and other mental states and processes of membersof a jury; a police officer might need to reason about the conjecturedbeliefs and reasoning of perpetrators; a judge may need to consider adefendant's mental states and processes for the purposes of sentencing;and so on. Further, the mental states in question may themselves beabout the mental states and processes of (...)
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  31. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings.Sylvan Barnet (ed.) - 2011 - 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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  32. 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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  33. By Parallel Reasoning: The Construction and Evaluation of Analogical Arguments.Paul F. A. Bartha - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Analogical arguments -- Philosophical theories -- Computational theories -- The articulation model -- Analogies in mathematics -- Similarity and patterns of generalization -- Analogy and epistemic values -- Analogy and symmetry -- A wider role for analogies.
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  34. 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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  35. Readings in Argumentation.William L. Benoit, Dale Hample & Pamela J. Benoit (eds.) - 1992 - 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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  36. Observations au sujet du raisonnement indirect.Evert W. Beth - 1960 - Logique Et Analyse 3 (11):166.
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  37. Knowledge, Belief, and Strategic Interaction.Bicchieri Cristina & Dalla Chiara Maria Luisa (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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  38. The Psychology of Reasoning.Alfred Binet - 1900 - The Monist 10:149.
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  39. Analogy, Anomaly, and Apollonius.David Blank - 1994 - In Stephen Everson (ed.), Language. Cambridge University Press.
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  40. 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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  41. Reasoning: A Psychophilosophical Inquiry.Luca Lorenzo Bonatti - 1994 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
    In Part I, I argue that deductive reasoning is a crucial area of interest both for the new cognitive psychology and for a series of philosophical problems. I lay down criteria for judging descriptive adequacy and psychological reality for a theory of reasoning. ;In Part II, I consider the mental logic hypothesis and the mental model hypothesis. I critically discuss their history, their structures, and the evidence for them. Contrarily to the general opinion, I conclude that the mental model hypothesis (...)
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  42. Two Aspects of Reasoning Competence: A Challenge for Current Accounts and a Call for New Conceptual Tools.Guy Politzer & Bonnefon & Jean-Francois - 2010 - In Mike Oaksford & Nick Chater (eds.), Cognition and Conditionals: Probability and Logic in Human Thinking. Oxford University Press.
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  43. Moral Inference.Jean-Francois Bonnefon & Bastian Tremoliere (eds.) - forthcoming
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  44. Cortical Integration: Possible Solutions to the Binding and Linking Problems in Perception, Reasoning and Long Term Memory.Nick Bostrom - manuscript
    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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  45. The Virtuous Tortoise.David Botting - 2015 - 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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  46. The Art of Self-Persuasion: The Social Explanation of False Beliefs.Raymond Boudon - 1994 - Polity.
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  47. Induction et déduction.Christophe Bouriau - 2005 - Philosophia Scientiae 9 (1):73-81.
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  48. Argument Analysis.Ed Brandon - 1983 - U.W.I. Mona.
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  49. 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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  50. Intention, Belief, and Instrumental Rationality.Michael Bratman - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 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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