Inferences are familiar movements of thought, but despite important recent work on the topic, we do not yet have a fully satisfying theory of inference. Here I provide a functionalist theory of inference. I argue that the functionalist framework allows us the flexibility to meet various demands on a theory of inference that have been proposed (such as that it must explain inferential Moorean phenomena and epistemological ‘taking’). While also allowing us to compare, contrast, adapt, and combine features of extant theories of inference into one unified theory. In fleshing out the inference role, I also criticize the common assumption that inference requires rule-following.