In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity (2018)

Corine Besson
University of Sussex
This paper concerns connection between knowing or accepting a logical principle such as Modus Ponens and actions of reasoning involving it. Discussions of this connection typically mention the so-called ‘Lewis Carroll Regress’ and there is near consensus that the regress shows something important about it. Also, although the regress explicitly concerns logic, many philosophers think that it establishes a more general truth, about the structurally similar connection between epistemic or practical principles and actions involving them. This paper’s first aim is to address key interpretations Carroll’s regress as clearly as possible so as to show precisely how it might be relevant to questions concerning the connection between logical knowledge and reasoning, and, more broadly, to discussions of how epistemic or practical principles may be action-guiding. Its second aim is to show that the regress fails to establish anything of substance about the connection between logical knowledge and reasoning, or any other structurally similar relation, unless substantive, contentious and typically undefended assumptions are made. The consensus is thus on shaky ground.
Keywords Lewis Carroll  Logic  Reasoning  Normativity  Justification  Knowing How
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References found in this work BETA

Knowing How.Jason Stanley & Timothy Willlamson - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (8):411-444.
Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
The Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
On Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.

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On the Justification Problems: Towards a Peircean Diagnosis and Solution.Liuhua Zhang - 2017 - History and Philosophy of Logic 38 (3):222-238.

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