A Critical Study of the Coherence of Criterial Reasoning

Dissertation, The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) (1989)
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Abstract

Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;The thesis focusses on the question of the coherence of the notion of a "criterion" which has enjoyed considerable currency in the contemporary Philosophy of Language and Mind. The text is divided into three parts, each of which deals with a particular aspect of the notion of a criterion, or of theories of criteria. Part One consists of Chapters 1, 2 and 3 and explores the question of the origins of the notion and of theories concerning it. Wittgenstein's later work is widely recognized as the notion's point of origin and for that reason I examine Wittgenstein's use of the term "criterion" and the philosophy of language which is the proper context of the notion as employed by that author. I then present my own account of the significance of the notion to Wittgenstein, and the role of the notion in his later thought. Part Two consists of Chapters 4 and 5 which examine the place of the notion in the contemporary Philosophy of Language and offer a critical account of much recent work in that field. Finally, in Part Three, I concentrate on the question of the coherence of the notion. The sixth Chapter deals mainly with epistemological issues of relevance but also involves some formal work together with some discussion of the ramifications of the notion, correctly understood, in the Philosophy of Mind. Chapter Seven suggests a formal, logical framework in which criterial reasoning patterns can be usefully mapped and also attempts to demonstrate an inherent flexibility of format which might allow for contrastive comparisons with other modes of reasoning

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