Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across (...) disciplines. (shrink)
This book represents the first major attempt by any author to provide an integrated account of the evidence for bias in human reasoning across a wide range of disparate psychological literatures. The topics discussed involve both deductive and inductive reasoning as well as statistical judgement and inference. In addition, the author proposes a general theoretical approach to the explanations of bias and considers the practical implications for real world decision making. The theoretical stance of the book is based (...) on a distinction between preconscious heuristic processes which determine the mental representation of 'relevant' features of the problem content, and subsequent analytic reasoning processes which generate inferences and judgements. Phenomena discussed and interpreted within this framework include feature matching biases in propositional reasoning, confirmation bias, biasing and debiasing effects of knowledge on reasoning, and biases in statistical judgement normally attributed to 'availability' and 'representativeness' heuristics. In the final chapter, the practical consequences of bias for real life decision making are considered, together with various issues concerning the problem of 'debiasing'. The major approaches discussed are those involving education and training on the one hand, and the development of intelligent software and interactive decision aids on the other. (shrink)
Scientific reasoning is—and ought to be—conducted in accordance with the axioms of probability. This Bayesian view—so called because of the central role it accords to a theorem first proved by Thomas Bayes in the late eighteenth ...
Much research in the last two decades has demonstrated that human responses deviate from the performance deemed normative according to various models of decision making and rational judgment (e.g., the basic axioms of utility theory). This gap between the normative and the descriptive can be interpreted as indicating systematic irrationalities in human cognition. However, four alternative interpretations preserve the assumption that human behavior and cognition is largely rational. These posit that the gap is due to (1) performance errors, (2) computational (...) limitations, (3) the wrong norm being applied by the experimenter, and (4) a different construal of the task by the subject. In the debates about the viability of these alternative explanations, attention has been focused too narrowly on the modal response. In a series of experiments involving most of the classic tasks in the heuristics and biases literature, we have examined the implications of individual differences in performance for each of the four explanations of the normative/descriptive gap. Performance errors are a minor factor in the gap; computational limitations underlie non-normative responding on several tasks, particularly those that involve some type of cognitive decontextualization. Unexpected patterns of covariance can suggest when the wrong norm is being applied to a task or when an alternative construal of the task should be considered appropriate. Key Words: biases; descriptive models; heuristics; individual differences; normative models; rationality; reasoning. (shrink)
This paper tries to do three things. First, it tries to make it plausible that correct rules of reasoning do not always preserve justification: in other words, if you begin with a justified attitude, and reason correctly from that premise, it can nevertheless happen that you’ll nevertheless arrive at an unjustified attitude. Attempts to show that such cases in fact involve following an incorrect rule of reasoning cannot be vindicated. Second, it also argues that correct rules of (...) class='Hi'>reasoning do not even correspond to permissions of “structural rationality”: it is not always structurally permissible to base an attitude on other attitudes from which it follows by correct reasoning. Third, from these observations it tries to build a somewhat positive account of the correctness of rules of reasoning as a more sui generis notion irreducible to either justification or structural rationality. This account vindicates an important unity of theoretical and practical reasoning as well as a qualified version of the thesis that deductive logic supplies correct rules of reasoning. (shrink)
Change, Choice and Inference develops logical theories that are necessary both for the understanding of adaptable human reasoning and for the design of intelligent systems. The book shows that reasoning processes - the drawing on inferences and changing one's beliefs - can be viewed as belonging to the realm of practical reason by embedding logical theories into the broader context of the theory of rational choice. The book unifies lively and significant strands of research in logic, philosophy, economics (...) and artificial intelligence. It elaborates on the relevant theories and provides a mathematically precise foundation for the thesis that large parts of theoretical reason can be subsumed under practical reason. (shrink)
Reasoning is a certain kind of attitude-revision. What kind? The aim of this paper is to introduce and defend a new answer to this question, based on the idea that reasoning is a goodness-fixing kind. Our central claim is that reasoning is a functional kind: it has a constitutive point or aim that fixes the standards for good reasoning. We claim, further, that this aim is to get fitting attitudes. We start by considering recent accounts of (...)reasoning due to Ralph Wedgwood and John Broome, and argue that, while these accounts contain important insights, they are not satisfactory: Wedgwood’s rules out too much, and Broome’s too little. We then introduce and defend our alternative account, discuss some of its implications and attractions, and, finally, consider objections. (shrink)
An organizing theme of the dissertation is the issue of how to make philosophical theories useful for scientific purposes. An argument for the contention is presented that it doesn’t suffice merely to theoretically motivate one’s theories, and make them compatible with existing data, but that philosophers having this aim should ideally contribute to identifying unique and hard to vary predictions of their theories. This methodological recommendation is applied to the ranking-theoretic approach to conditionals, which emphasizes the epistemic relevance and the (...) expression of reason relations as part of the semantics of the natural language conditional. As a first step, this approach is theoretically motivated in a comparative discussion of other alternatives in psychology of reasoning, like the suppositional theory of conditionals, and novel approaches to the problems of compositionality and accounting for the objective purport of indicative conditionals are presented. In a second step, a formal model is formulated, which allows us to derive quantitative predictions from the ranking-theoretic approach, and it is investigated which novel avenues of empirical research that this model opens up for. Finally, a treatment is given of the problem of logical omniscience as it concerns the issue of whether ranking theory (and other similar approaches) makes too idealized assumptions about rationality to allow for interesting applications in psychology of reasoning. Building on the work of Robert Brandom, a novel solution to this problem is presented, which both opens up for new perspectives in psychology of reasoning and appears to be capable of satisfying a range of constraints on bridge principles between logic and norms of reasoning, which would otherwise stand in a tension. (shrink)
According to Aristotle, humans are the rational animal. The borderline between rationality and irrationality is fundamental to many aspects of human life including the law, mental health, and language interpretation. But what is it to be rational? One answer, deeply embedded in the Western intellectual tradition since ancient Greece, is that rationality concerns reasoning according to the rules of logic – the formal theory that specifies the inferential connections that hold with certainty between propositions. Piaget viewed logical reasoning (...) as defining the end-point of cognitive development; and contemporary psychology of reasoning has focussed on comparing human reasoning against logical standards. (shrink)
This book by one of the world's foremost philosophers in the fields of epistemology and logic offers an account of suppositional reasoning relevant to practical deliberation, explanation, prediction and hypothesis testing. Suppositions made 'for the sake of argument' sometimes conflict with our beliefs, and when they do, some beliefs are rejected and others retained. Thanks to such belief contravention, adding content to a supposition can undermine conclusions reached without it. Subversion can also arise because suppositional reasoning is ampliative. (...) These two types of nonmonotonic logic are the focus of this book. A detailed comparison of nonmonotonicity appropriate to both belief contravening and ampliative suppositional reasoning reveals important differences that have been overlooked. (shrink)
Many philosophers have been attracted to the view that reasons are premises of good reasoning – that reasons to φ are premises of good reasoning towards φ-ing. However, while this reasoning view is indeed attractive, it faces a problem accommodating outweighed reasons. In this article, I argue that the standard solution to this problem is unsuccessful and propose an alternative, which draws on the idea that good patterns of reasoning can be defeasible. I conclude by drawing (...) out implications for the debate over pragmatic reasons for belief and other attitudes and for one influential form of reductionism about the normative. (shrink)
Human agents draw a variety of inferences effortlessly, spontaneously, and with remarkable efficiency – as though these inferences were a reflexive response of their cognitive apparatus. Furthermore, these inferences are drawn with reference to a large body of background knowledge. This remarkable human ability seems paradoxical given the complexity of reasoning reported by researchers in artificial intelligence. It also poses a challenge for cognitive science and computational neuroscience: How can a system of simple and slow neuronlike elements represent a (...) large body of systemic knowledge and perform a range of inferences with such speed? We describe a computational model that takes a step toward addressing the cognitive science challenge and resolving the artificial intelligence paradox. We show how a connectionist network can encode millions of facts and rules involving n-ary predicates and variables and perform a class of inferences in a few hundred milliseconds. Efficient reasoning requires the rapid representation and propagation of dynamic bindings. Our model (which we refer to as SHRUTI) achieves this by representing (1) dynamic bindings as the synchronous firing of appropriate nodes, (2) rules as interconnection patterns that direct the propagation of rhythmic activity, and (3) long-term facts as temporal pattern-matching subnetworks. The model is consistent with recent neurophysiological evidence that synchronous activity occurs in the brain and may play a representational role in neural information processing. The model also makes specific psychologically significant predictions about the nature of reflexive reasoning. It identifies constraints on the form of rules that may participate in such reasoning and relates the capacity of the working memory underlying reflexive reasoning to biological parameters such as the lowest frequency at which nodes can sustain synchronous oscillations and the coarseness of synchronization. (shrink)
In this important new collection, Gilbert Harman presents a selection of fifteen interconnected essays on fundamental issues at the center of analytic philosophy. The book opens with a group of four essays discussing basic principles of reasoning and rationality. The next three essays argue against the once popular idea that certain claims are true and knowable by virtue of meaning. In the third group of essays Harman presents his own view of meaning and the possibility of thinking in language (...) The final three essays investigate the nature of mind, developing further the themes already set out. Reasoning, Meaning, and Mind offers an integrated presentation of this rich and influential body of work. which Harman has developed over thirty years. (shrink)
This study draws on Kohlberg''s Cognitive Moral Development Theory and Hofstede''s Culture Theory to examine whether cultural differences are associated with variations in ethical reasoning. Ethical reasoning levels for auditors from Australia and China are expected to be different since auditors from China and Australia are also different in terms of the cultural dimensions of long term orientation, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and individualism. The Defining Issues Tests measuring ethical reasoning P scores were distributed to auditors from (...) Australia and China including Hong Kong and The Chinese Mainland. Results show that auditors from Australia have higher ethical reasoning scores than those from China, consistent with Hofstede''s Culture Theory predictions. (shrink)
Distinctions have been proposed between systems of reasoning for centuries. This article distills properties shared by many of these distinctions and characterizes the resulting systems in light of recent findings and theoretical developments. One system is associative because its computations reflect similarity structure and relations of temporal contiguity. The other is "rule based" because it operates on symbolic structures that have logical content and variables and because its computations have the properties that are normally assigned to rules. The systems (...) serve complementary functions and can simultaneously generate different solutions to a reasoning problem. The rule-based system can suppress the associative system but not completely inhibit it. The article reviews evidence in favor of the distinction and its characterization. (shrink)
What is the relationship between the epistemic norms of assertion and the epistemic norms of action/practical reasoning? Brown argues that the standards for practical reasoning and assertion are distinct (Brown 2012). In contrast, Montminy argues that practical reasoning and assertion must be governed by the same norm (Montminy 2012). Likewise, McKinnon has articulated an argument for a unified account from cases of isolated second-hand knowledge (McKinnon 2012). To clarify the issue, I articulate a distinction between Equivalence Commonality (...) and Structural Commonality. I then argue against the former by counterexamples that doubly dissociate the standards for assertion and action. Furthermore, I argue that such a double dissociation compromises knowledge accounts of both assertion and action/practical reasoning. To provide a more accurate diagnosis, I consider speech act theory and argue that principled differences between the norms of action and assertion compromise Equivalence Commonality. In contrast, a qualified version of Structural Commonality may be preserved. (shrink)
When and why does it matter whether we can give an explicit justification for what we believe? This paper examines these questions in the light of recent empirical work on the social functions served by our capacity to reason, in particular, Mercier and Sperber’s argumentative theory of reasoning.
This chapter presents two contemporary pictures of practical reasoning. According to the Rule-Guidance Conception, roughly, practical reasoning is a rule-guided operation of acquiring (or retaining or giving up) intentions so as to meet synchronic requirements of rationality. According to the Reasons-Responsiveness Conception, practical reasoning is a process of responding to reasons we take ourselves to have, and its standards of correctness derive from what we objectively have reason to do, if things are as we suppose them to (...) be. I argue that a version of the latter has some significant advantages. This has some surprising consequences for how we should conceive of the structure of instrumental reasoning in particular. (shrink)
Previous research indicates that ethical ideologies, issue-contingencies, and social context can impact ethical reasoning in different business situations. However, the manner in which these constructs work together to shape different steps of the ethical decision-making process is not always clear. The purpose of this study was to address these issues by exploring the influence of idealism and relativism, perceived moral intensity in a decision-making situation, and social context on the recognition of an ethical issue and ethical intention. Utilizing a (...) sales-based scenario and multiple ethics measures included on a self-report questionnaire, data were collected from a regional sample of business students, most of whom had modest work experience. The results indicated that perceived moral intensity was associated with increased ethical issue recognition and ethical intention. Idealism was also associated with increased ethical issue recognition, and relativism was associated with decreased ethical intention. Social consensus was positively related to ethical issue recognition and intention, while competitive context was inversely related to ethical intention. Finally, ethical issue recognition was associated with increased ethical intention. Idealism, moral intensity, social consensus, and work experience worked together as predictors of ethical issue recognition, whereas recognition of an ethical issue, relativism, moral intensity, social consensus, and competitive context worked together to predict ethical intention. (shrink)
What makes the difference between good and bad reasoning? In this paper we defend a novel account of good reasoning—both theoretical and practical—according to which it preserves fittingness or correctness: good reasoning is reasoning which is such as to take you from fitting attitudes to further fitting attitudes, other things equal. This account, we argue, is preferable to two others that feature in the recent literature. The first, which has been made prominent by John Broome, holds (...) that the standards of good reasoning derive from rational requirements. The second holds that these standards derive from reasons. We argue that these accounts face serious difficulties in correctly distinguishing good from bad reasoning, and in explaining what's worthwhile about good reasoning. We then propose our alternative account and argue that it performs better on these counts. In the final section, we develop certain elements of the account in response to some possible objections. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Develops a logical analysis of dialogue in which two or more parties attempt to advance their own interests. It includes a classification of the major types of dialogues and a discussion of several important informal fallacies.
While there is much evidence for the influence of automatic emotional responses on moral judgment, the roles of reflection and reasoning remain uncertain. In Experiment 1, we induced subjects to be more reflective by completing the Cognitive Reflection Test prior to responding to moral dilemmas. This manipulation increased utilitarian responding, as individuals who reflected more on the CRT made more utilitarian judgments. A follow-up study suggested that trait reflectiveness is also associated with increased utilitarian judgment. In Experiment 2, subjects (...) considered a scenario involving incest between consenting adult siblings, a scenario known for eliciting emotionally driven condemnation that resists reasoned persuasion. Here, we manipulated two factors related to moral reasoning: argument strength and deliberation time. These factors interacted in a manner consistent with moral reasoning: A strong argument defending the incestuous behavior was more persuasive than a weak argument, but only when increased deliberation time encouraged subjects to reflect. (shrink)
Since at least the 1960s, deontic logicians and ethicists have worried about whether there can be normative systems that allow conflicting obligations. Surprisingly, however, little direct attention has been paid to questions about how we may reason with conflicting obligations. In this paper, I present a problem for making sense of reasoning with conflicting obligations and argue that no deontic logic can solve this problem. I then develop an account of reasoning based on the popular idea in ethics (...) that reasons explain obligations and show that it solves this problem. (shrink)
While models of business ethics increasingly recognize that ethical behavior varies cross-culturally, scant attention has been given to understanding how culture affects the ethical reasoning process that predicates individuals' ethical actions. To address this gap, this paper illustrates how culture may affect the various components of individuals' ethical reasoning by integrating findings from the cross-cultural management literature with cognitive-developmental perspective. Implications for future research and transnational organizations are discussed.
Although deductive reasoning is a closed system, one's beliefs about the world can influence validity judgements. To understand the associated functional neuroanatomy of this belief-bias we studied 14 volunteers using event-related fMRI, as they performed reasoning tasks under neutral, facilitatory and inhibitory belief conditions. We found evidence for the engagement of a left temporal lobe system during belief-based reasoning and a bilateral parietal lobe system during belief-neutral reasoning. Activation of right lateral prefrontal cortex was evident when (...) subjects inhibited a prepotent response associated with belief-bias and correctly completed a logical task, a finding consistent with its putative role in cognitive monitoring. By contrast, when logical reasoning was overcome by belief-bias, there was engagement of ventral medial prefrontal cortex, a region implicated in affective processing. This latter involvement suggests that belief-bias effects in reasoning may be mediated through an influence of emotional processes on reasoning. (shrink)
Recent research in moral psychology highlights the role of emotion and intuition in moral judgment. In the wake of these findings, the role and significance of moral reasoning remain uncertain. In this article, we distinguish among different kinds of moral reasoning and review evidence suggesting that at least some kinds of moral reasoning play significant roles in moral judgment, including roles in abandoning moral intuitions in the absence of justifying reasons, applying both deontological and utilitarian moral principles, (...) and counteracting automatic tendencies toward bias that would otherwise dominate behavior. We argue that little is known about the psychology of moral reasoning and that it may yet prove to be a potent social force. (shrink)
Moral reasoning is individual or collective practical reasoning about what, morally, one ought to do. Philosophical examination of moral reasoning faces both distinctive puzzles — about how we recognize moral considerations and cope with conflicts among them and about how they move us to act — and distinctive opportunities for gleaning insight about what we ought to do from how we reason about what we ought to do.
Elaborating on the notions that humans possess different modalities of decision-making and that these are often influenced by moral considerations, we conducted an experimental investigation of the Trolley Problem. We presented the participants with two standard scenarios (‹lever’ and ‹stranger’) either in the usual or in reversed order. We observe that responses to the lever scenario, which result from (moral) reasoning, are affected by our manipulation; whereas responses to the stranger scenario, triggered by moral emotions, are unaffected. Furthermore, when (...) asked to express general moral opinions on the themes of the Trolley Problem, about half of the participants reveal some inconsistency with the responses they had previously given. (shrink)
An important objection to political liberalism is that it provides no means by which to decide conflicts between public and non-public reasons. This article develops John Rawls' idea of `reasoning from conjecture' as one way to argue for a commitment to public reason. Reasoning from conjecture is a form of non-public justification that allows political liberals to reason from within the comprehensive views of at least some unreasonable citizens. After laying out the basic features of this form of (...) non-public justification, this article responds to three objections based on concerns about insincerity, cultural imperialism, and the epistemic authority of those who reason from conjecture. (shrink)
Previous work suggests that moral intensity and the perceived importance of an ethical issue can influence individual ethical decision making. However, prior research has not explored how the various dimensions of moral intensity might differentially affect PIE, or how moral intensity might function together with (or in the presence of) PIE to influence ethical decision making. In addition, prior work has also not adequately investigated how the operational context of an organization, which may embody conditions or practices that create barriers (...) to ethical decision making, may differ from other functional areas of an organization. Consequently, this study investigated the relationships among moral intensity, perceived ethical issue importance, and three stages of the ethical reasoning process: recognition of an ethical issue, ethical judgment, and ethical intention. Using an internet-based, self-report survey containing two operations management scenarios and various ethics measures, information was collected from business professionals working for a Midwestern financial services organization. The hierarchical regression results indicated that some dimensions of moral intensity were positively related to PIE, ethical issue recognition, and ethical judgment, and that PIE was associated with increased ethical issue recognition and ethical judgment. The steps of ethical reasoning were also positively interrelated. (shrink)
This paper compares the moral reasoning of 363 auditors from Canada and the United States. We investigate whether national institutional context is associated with differences in auditors'' moral reasoning by examining three components of auditors'' moral decision process: (1) moral development, which describes cognitive moral capability, (2) prescriptive reasoning of how a realistic accounting dilemma ought to be resolved and, (3) deliberative reasoning of how a realistic accounting dilemma will be resolved. Not surprisingly, it appears that (...) institutional factors are more likely to be associated with auditors'' deliberative reasoning than their prescriptive reasoning in both countries. Additionally, our findings suggest that the national institutional context found in the United States, which has a tougher regulatory and more litigious environment, appears to better encourage auditors to deliberate according to what they perceive is "the ideal" judgment as compared to the Canadian context. We then discuss the implications of these findings for regulators and for ethics research. (shrink)
In this paper I am concerned with the question of whether degrees of belief can figure in reasoning processes that are executed by humans. It is generally accepted that outright beliefs and intentions can be part of reasoning processes, but the role of degrees of belief remains unclear. The literature on subjective Bayesianism, which seems to be the natural place to look for discussions of the role of degrees of belief in reasoning, does not address the question (...) of whether degrees of belief play a role in real agents’ reasoning processes. On the other hand, the philosophical literature on reasoning, which relies much less heavily on idealizing assumptions about reasoners than Bayesianism, is almost exclusively concerned with outright belief. One possible explanation for why no philosopher has yet developed an account of reasoning with degrees of belief is that reasoning with degrees of belief is not possible for humans. In this paper, I will consider three arguments for this claim. I will show why these arguments are flawed, and conclude that, at least as far as these arguments are concerned, it seems like there is no good reason why the topic of reasoning with degrees of belief has received so little attention. (shrink)
There is a long tradition in formal epistemology and in the psychology of reasoning to investigate indicative conditionals. In psychology, the propositional calculus was taken for granted to be the normative standard of reference. Experimental tasks, evaluation of the participants’ responses and psychological model building, were inspired by the semantics of the material conditional. Recent empirical work on indicative conditionals focuses on uncertainty. Consequently, the normative standard of reference has changed. I argue why neither logic nor standard probability theory (...) provide appropriate rationality norms for uncertain conditionals. I advocate coherence based probability logic as an appropriate framework for investigating uncertain conditionals. Detailed proofs of the probabilistic non-informativeness of a paradox of the material conditional illustrate the approach from a formal point of view. I survey selected data on human reasoning about uncertain conditionals which additionally support the plausibility of the approach from an empirical point of view. (shrink)
The last century has seen many disciplines place a greater priority on understanding how people reason in a particular domain, and several illuminating theories of informal logic and argumentation have been developed. Perhaps owing to their diverse backgrounds, there are several connections and overlapping ideas between the theories, which appear to have been overlooked. We focus on Peirce’s development of abductive reasoning , Toulmin’s argumentation layout , Lakatos’s theory of reasoning in mathematics , Pollock’s notions of counterexample , (...) and argumentation schemes constructed by Walton et al. , and explore some connections between, as well as within, the theories. For instance, we investigate Peirce’s abduction to deal with surprising situations in mathematics, represent Pollock’s examples in terms of Toulmin’s layout, discuss connections between Toulmin’s layout and Walton’s argumentation schemes, and suggest new argumentation schemes to cover the sort of reasoning that Lakatos describes, in which arguments may be accepted as faulty, but revised, rather than being accepted or rejected. We also consider how such theories may apply to reasoning in mathematics: in particular, we aim to build on ideas such as Dove’s , which help to show ways in which the work of Lakatos fits into the informal reasoning community. (shrink)
The philosophical literature on reasoning is dominated by the assumption that reasoning is essentially a matter of following rules. This paper challenges this view, by arguing that it misrepresents the nature of reasoning as a personal level activity. Reasoning must reflect the reasoner’s take on her evidence. The rule-following model seems ill-suited to accommodate this fact. Accordingly, this paper suggests replacing the rule-following model with a different, semantic approach to reasoning.
Many social situations require a mental model of the knowledge, beliefs, goals, and intentions of others: a Theory of Mind (ToM). If a person can reason about other people’s beliefs about his own beliefs or intentions, he is demonstrating second-order ToM reasoning. A standard task to test second-order ToM reasoning is the second-order false belief task. A different approach to investigating ToM reasoning is through its application in a strategic game. Another task that is believed to involve (...) the application of second-order ToM is the comprehension of sentences that the hearer can only understand by considering the speaker’s alternatives. In this study we tested 40 children between 8 and 10 years old and 27 adult controls on (adaptations of) the three tasks mentioned above: the false belief task, a strategic game, and a sentence comprehension task. The results show interesting differences between adults and children, between the three tasks, and between this study and previous research. (shrink)
A growth in consumer and media ethical consciousness has resulted in the need for organizations to ensure that members understand, share and project an approved and unified set of ethics. Thus understanding which variables are related to sharing and variation of ethical reasoning and moral intent, and the relative strength of these variables is critical. While past research has examined individual (attitudes, values, etc.), social (peers, significant others, etc.) and organizational (codes of conduct, senior management, etc.) variables, it has (...) focused on their influence on the individual – and not on their role in relation to patterns of group sharing and variation in an organization. Introduced as a new methodology to study ethics, microcultural analysis stipulates that to explain patterns of sharing and variation, one must understand how individual, social and organizational variables influence sharing and variation. Key hypotheses predict that managers who share in individual, social or organizational determinants will be more likely to share in ethical reasoning and moral intent. Qualitative and quantitative research supports the key hypotheses, finding social ties, personal moral intensity, Machiavellianism, locus of control and codes of ethics as significant determinants. Individuals who share in these determinants are more likely to share in ethical reasoning and moral intent. Additionally, regression analysis reveals social ties and personal moral intensity to be the strongest determinants. Based on these results, managerial recommendations focus on a holistic approach, manipulating these three determinants to cultivate a unified code of ethics within an organization. (shrink)
This is a commentary on Mathias Frisch's book Causal Reasoning in Physics (Cambridge 2014). This commentary was presented at the 2016 Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in a session sponsored by the Society for the Metaphysics of Science.
My analysis here is an attempt to bring out the main through-line in the development of Bulgarian philosophy of law today. A proper account of Bulgarian philosophy of law in the 20th century requires an attempt to find, on the one hand, a solution to epistemological and methodological problems in law and, on the other, a clear-cut influence of the Kantian critical tradition. Bulgarian philosophy of law follows a complicated path, ranging from acceptance and revision of Kantian philosophy to the (...) development of interesting theories on the logic of legal reasoning. (shrink)
Epistemic Reasoning and the Mental integrates the epistemology of reasoning and philosophy of mind. The book contains introductions to basic concepts in the epistemology of inference and to important aspects of the philosophy of mind. By examining the fundamental competencies involved in reasoning, Gerken argues that reasoning's epistemic force depends on the external environment in ways that are both surprising and epistemologically important. -/- For example, Gerken argues that purportedly deductive reasoning that exhibits the fallacy (...) of equivocation may nevertheless transmit epistemic warrant from its premise-beliefs to its conclusion-belief. This view is contrary to orthodoxy according to which such reasoning must be valid. But Gerken shows how this novel and unorthodox view is integrated in a psychologically plausible account of our reasoning competencies and a general epistemological framework. -/- What emerges is an approach to the philosophy of reasoning that is informed and constrained by both epistemology and philosophy of mind. -/- . (shrink)
In section 1, I develop epistemic communism, my view of the function of epistemically evaluative terms such as ‘rational’. The function is to support the coordination of our belief-forming rules, which in turn supports the reliable acquisition of beliefs through testimony. This view is motivated by the existence of valid inferences that we hesitate to call rational. I defend the view against the worry that it fails to account for a function of evaluations within first-personal deliberation. In the rest of (...) the paper, I then argue, on the basis of epistemic communism, for a view about rationality itself. I set up the argument in section 2 by saying what a theory of rational deduction is supposed to do. I claim that such a theory would provide a necessary, sufficient, and explanatorily unifying condition for being a rational rule for inferring deductive consequences. I argue in section 3 that, given epistemic communism and the conventionality that it entails, there is no such theory. Nothing explains why certain rules for deductive reasoning are rational. (shrink)
Inductive reasoning is a fundamental and complex aspect of human intelligence. In particular, how do subjects, given a set of particular examples, generate general descriptions of the rules governing that set? We present a biologically plausible method for accomplishing this task and implement it in a spiking neuron model. We demonstrate the success of this model by applying it to the problem domain of Raven's Progressive Matrices, a widely used tool in the field of intelligence testing. The model is (...) able to generate the rules necessary to correctly solve Raven's items, as well as recreate many of the experimental effects observed in human subjects. (shrink)
This study examines the relationship between an employee's level of moral reasoning and a form of work performance known as organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). Prior research in the public accounting profession has found higher levels of moral reasoning to be positively related to various types of ethical behavior. This study extends the ethical domain of accounting behaviors to include OCB. Analysis of respondents from a public accounting firm in the northeast region of the United States (n = 107) (...) support a positive and significant relationship between moral reasoning and two dimensions of OCB: interpersonal helping behaviors and sportsmanship behaviors. This study controls for previously identified determinants of OCB (e.g., procedural justice) and demographic variables (age, sex, tenure and social desirability). Results suggest that moral reasoning accounts for professional behaviors that are perceived as intrinsically good by the employee and economically beneficial by the employer. (shrink)
Decision theory explains weakness of will as the result of a conflict of incentives between different transient agents. In this framework, self-control can only be achieved by the I-now altering the incentives or choice-sets of future selves. There is no role for an extended agency over time. However, it is possible to extend game theory to allow multiple levels of agency. At the inter-personal level, theories of team reasoning allow teams to be agents, as well as individuals. I apply (...) team reasoning at the intra-personal level, taking the self as a team of transient agents over time. This allows agents to ask, not just “what should I-now do?’, but also ‘What should I, the person over time do?’, which may enable agents to achieve self-control. The resulting account is Aristotelian in flavour, as it involves reasoning schemata and perception, and it is compatible with some of the psychological findings about self-control. (shrink)
This research addressed theoretical approaches in political science arguing that the American electorate is either poorly informed or dependent on party label cues, by assessing performance on political judgment tasks when party label information is missing. The research materials were created from the results of a national opinion survey held during a national election. The experiments themselves were run on nationally representative samples of adults, identified from another national electoral survey. Participants saw profiles of simulated individuals, including information about demographics (...) and issue positions, but omitting party labels. In Experiment 1, participants successfully judged the likelihood of party membership based on the profiles. In Experiment 2, participants successfully voted based on their party interests. The results were mediated by participants' political knowledge. Conclusions are drawn with respect to theories from political science and issues in cognitive science regarding categorization and reasoning. (shrink)
Parallelism has been drawn between modes of representation and problem-sloving processes: Diagrams are more useful for brainstorming while symbolic representation is more welcomed in a formal proof. The paper gets to the root of this clear-cut dualistic picture and argues that the strength of diagrammatic reasoning in the brainstorming process does not have to be abandoned at the stage of proof, but instead should be appreciated and could be preserved in mathematical proofs.
“Since today is Saturday, the grocery store is open today and will be closed tomorrow; so let’s go today”. That is an example of everyday practical reasoning—reasoning directly with the propositions that one believes but may not be fully certain of. Everyday practical reasoning is one of our most familiar kinds of decisions but, unfortunately, some foundational questions about it are largely ignored in the standard decision theory: (Q1) What are the decision rules in everyday practical (...) class='Hi'>reasoning that connect qualitative belief and desire to preference over acts? (Q2) What sort of logic should govern qualitative beliefs in everyday practical reasoning, and to what extent is that logic necessary for the purposes of qualitative decisions? (Q3) What kinds of qualitative decisions are always representable as results of everyday practical reasoning? (Q4) Under what circumstances do the results of everyday practical reasoning agree with the Bayesian ideal of expected utility maximization? This paper proposes a rigorous decision theory for answering all of those questions, which is developed in parallel to Savage’s (1954) foundation of expected utility maximization. In light of a new representation result, everyday practical reasoning provides a sound and complete method for a very wide class of qualitative decisions; and, to that end, qualitative beliefs must be allowed to be closed under classical logic plus a well-known nonmonotonic logic—the so-called system ℙ. (shrink)