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Validity of Inferences
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2013 (English)In: Reference, Rationality, and Phenomenology: Themes from Føllesdal / [ed] Michael Frauchiger, Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2013, p. 179-204Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Deductive inference gives us conclusive grounds for beliefs and assertions, and may even compel us, as is generally acknowledged since the time of Plato and Aristotle. But there is no generally accepted account of what is to be required of an inference in order that it is to have this justificatory and compelling power. That the inference is valid is clearly not a sufficient condition, if validity of an inference is defined as truth preservaton for all variations of the content of the non-logical constants involved. It has been suggested that the agent has to be required to know the inference to be valid, but it may be argued along the lines of Lewis Carroll's regress that neither is this a sufficient condition. In any case it is too stringent, since justification would never get off the ground if we first had to show that the inferences used in a justification are valid. The paper suggests that we have to rethink the notion of inference to account for how we acquire knowledge by making inferences. An inference is first of all an act in which an agent operates on given grounds for the premisses in order to get a ground for the conclusion. It can be defined as valid if the operation does yield a ground for the conclusion when applied to grounds for the premisses. Getting in possession of a ground for the conclusion by performing the act, the agent becomes justified in holding the conclusion true, and if aware of this possession, she even gets compelled to do so.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2013. p. 179-204
Series
Launer Library of Analytical Philosophy ; 2
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89493DOI: 10.1515/9783110323542.179ISBN: 978-3-86838-182-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89493DiVA, id: diva2:618346
Available from: 2013-04-26 Created: 2013-04-26 Last updated: 2018-11-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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