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What is good reasoning?

What is good reasoning?
What is good reasoning?
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.
0031-8205
153–174
McHugh, Conor
0b73a7bf-51bf-4883-b62e-f6071f25194d
Way, Jonathan
2c3f95c6-ba9f-4640-b2f6-d23363a96c48
McHugh, Conor
0b73a7bf-51bf-4883-b62e-f6071f25194d
Way, Jonathan
2c3f95c6-ba9f-4640-b2f6-d23363a96c48

McHugh, Conor and Way, Jonathan (2018) What is good reasoning? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 153–174. (doi:10.1111/phpr.12299).

Record type: Article

Abstract

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.

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 January 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 May 2016
Published date: January 2018
Organisations: Philosophy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 386667
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/386667
ISSN: 0031-8205
PURE UUID: d14bc452-2e5c-4b91-b3b7-b00b16dd15c7

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Date deposited: 03 Feb 2016 10:30
Last modified: 15 Feb 2018 17:34

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Contributors

Author: Conor McHugh
Author: Jonathan Way

University divisions

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