What does formal logic have to do with arguments?

Metaphilosophy 53 (5):696-708 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper sharpens the distinction between inferential and logcon arguments. Inferential arguments represent possible inferences, logcon ones need not. This distinction clarifies the roles that arguments play in accounting for the normativity of validity for inferential reasoning and in establishing the theoretical connection between validity and logical consequence. There are two related takeaways. First, the normativity of validity for inferential reasoning is grounded on the notion of an inferential argument. This will account for the use of validity to judge inference in the face of well-known skepticism that a theory of validity has any special relevance to inferential reasoning. Second, a valid logcon argument needn't be an inferential argument. Accordingly, the normativity of validity for inferential reasoning doesn't require that every valid logcon argument be an inferential argument. The takeaways harmonize the use of validity to evaluate inferential reasoning with the use of the concept of logical consequence to characterize validity.

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Matthew W. McKeon
Michigan State University

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References found in this work

What is inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Studia Logica 48 (2):260-261.
Introduction to Logical Theory.P. F. Strawson - 1954 - Philosophy 29 (108):78-80.
Comment on Paul Boghossian, "What is inference".Crispin Wright - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):27-37.
Multiple Conclusions.Greg Restall - 2005 - In Petr Hájek, Luis Valdés-Villanueva & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science. College Publications.

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