• Inquisitive Semantics
    Ivano Ciardelli, Jeroen Groenendijk, and Floris Roelofsen
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    The book presents a new logical framework to capture the meaning of sentences in conversation. It is based on a richer notion of meaning than traditional approaches, and allows for an integrated treatment of statements and questions. The first part of the book presents the framework in detail, while the second demonstrates its many benefits.
  • On Some Mistaken Beliefs About Core Logic and Some Mistaken Core Beliefs About Logic
    Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 59 (4): 559-578. 2018.
    This is in part a reply to a recent work of Vidal-Rosset, which expresses various mistaken beliefs about Core Logic. Rebutting these leads us further to identify, and argue against, some mistaken core beliefs about logic.
  • Total Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Permissiveness
    Katherine Rubin
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1): 12-38. 2015.
    This article explores the relationship between pragmatic encroachment and epistemic permissiveness. If the suggestion that all epistemic notions are interest-relative is viable , then it seems that a certain species of epistemic permissivism must be viable as well. For, if all epistemic notions are interest relative then, sometimes, parties in paradigmatic cases of shared evidence can be maximally rational in forming competing basic doxastic attitudes towards the same proposition. However, I arg…Read more
  • Values and Credibility in Science Communication
    Janet Michaud and John Turri
    Logos and Episteme 9 (2): 199-214. 2018.
    Understanding science requires appreciating the values it presupposes and its social context. Both the values that scientists hold and their social context can affect scientific communication. Philosophers of science have recently begun studying scientific communication, especially as it relates to public policy. Some have proposed “guiding principles for communicating scientific findings” to promote trust and objectivity. This paper contributes to this line of research in a novel way using beha…Read more
  • Reasoning and logic
    Jim Mackenzie
    Synthese 79 (1). 1989.
    Gilbert Harman, in Logic and Reasoning (Synthese 60 (1984), 107–127) describes an unsuccessful attempt ... to develop a theory which would give logic a special role in reasoning. Here reasoning is psychological, a procedure for revising one''s beliefs. In the present paper, I construe reasoning sociologically, as a process of linguistic interaction; and show how both reasoning in the psychologistic sense and logic are related to that process.
  • A logic of practical reasoning
    Georg Spielthenner
    Acta Analytica 22 (2): 139-153. 2007.
    In this paper my primary aim is to present a logical system of practical reasoning that can be used to assess the validity of practical arguments, that is, arguments with a practical judgment as conclusion. I begin with a critical evaluation of other approaches to this issue and argue that they are inadequate. On the basis of these considerations, I explain in Sect. 2 the informal conception of practical validity and introduce in Sect. 3 the logical system P , which is an extension of propositio…Read more
  • It is hard to imagine our life without questions. They facilitate orientation in our environment, enable interpersonal communication and make the acquisition of knowledge possible. Questions direct scientific research, are used as research tools and are an important medium of transferring knowledge in teaching.The book is intended as a par excellence philosophical monograph of the theory of questions, presenting the most important erotetic problems, their general background and selected practica…Read more
  • Desires in practical reasoning
    Heath White
    Philosophical Studies 129 (2). 2006.
    Inferences from desired ends to intended necessary means seem to be among the most unproblematic elements of practical reasoning. A closer look dissolves this appearance, however, when we see that such inferences are defeasible. We can nevertheless understand such inferences as leading to the adoption of plans, by analogy with inferences leading to explanations. Plans should satisfy at least some important ends desired by the agent, be consistent with the satisfaction of other desired ends, and …Read more
  • Hegel, Habermas and the spirit of critical theory
    Critical Horizons 6 (1): 87-99. 2005.
    This paper explores the complex relation between Hegel and Habermas. Centring the discussion around the key themes of philosophy, modernity and political philosophy, it argues for a gradual re-approachment of Habermas towards Hegel. In the final section on critical theory, it takes up the question of the spirit of this theory to offer a more trenchant critique of Habermas' theoretical short-coming from this perspective.
  • Michael Quante: Hegel's Concept of Action (review)
    Paul Redding
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,. 2005.
    In the "Preface" to this English translation of a book first published in German a decade ago, the author notes a change in recent philosophical culture bearing on the project he had undertaken in it. When he had first started working on the book there had been little if any interest in Hegel among analytic philosophers (including German speaking ones), while orthodox Hegel scholars had generally thought that there was little to be gained by utilizing analytic approaches in their attempt to clar…Read more
  • Explanation, deliberation, and reasons (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2). 2003.
    Jonathan Dancy’s Practical Reality defends a strikingly nonpsychologistic account of motivating reasons for action. I agree wholeheartedly with Dancy that normative reasons do not in general consist in psychological states. I also agree with Dancy that motivating reasons should be understood in a way that preserves their connection to the kinds of normative consideration that recommend or speak in favor of actions. Despite these significant points of agreement, however, I find myself resisting D…Read more
  • Pollock on rational choice and trying
    Peter K. Mcinerney
    Philosophical Studies 129 (2). 2006.
    In everyday life people frequently recognize that a person at a time may be more or less strongly motivated to carry out an intentional action and that “trying harder” frequently affects the successful completion of an intentional action. In “Rational Choice and Action Omnipotence,” John Pollock provides an original account of rational choice in which “trying to do an action” is a basic factor. This paper argues that Pollock’s “expected-utility optimality prescription” is deficient because it la…Read more
  • Noninstrumental rationalizing
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (3). 1998.
    A central notion in Donald Davidson's philosophy of mind and action is "rationalization," a species of causal explanation designed in part to reveal the point or purpose of the explananda. An analogue of this notion - noninstrumental rationalization - merits serious attention. I develop an account of this species of rationalization and display its utility in explaining the production of certain desires and of motivationally biased beliefs.
  • Against characterizing mental states as propositional attitudes
    Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186): 84-89. 1997.
    The reason for characterizing mental states as propositional attitudes is sentence form: ‘S Vs that p’. However, many mental states are not ascribed by means of such sentences, and the sentences that ascribe them cannot be appropriately paraphrased. Moreover, even if a paraphrase were always available, that in itself would not establish the characterization. And the mental states that are ascribable by appropriate senses do not form any natural subset of mental states. A reason for the character…Read more
  • The rational choice approach to human studies: A reexamination (review)
    Milan Zafirovski
    Human Studies 26 (1): 41-66. 2003.
    This article reexamines the rational choice or economic approach to human studies. Its adherents claim that its extension beyond its original domain to all human behavior can finally lead to integration of the human studies, especially social theory, and thus their elevation from what they see as a chaotic state. Specifically, they propose grounding human studies on the premise that humans are rational egoists or self-interested utility maximizers. Although this premise has been the conceptual f…Read more
  • Rationality in collective action
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (1): 3-17. 2006.
    Collective action is interpreted as a matter of people doing something together, and it is assumed that this involves their having a collective intention to do that thing together. The account of collective intention for which the author has argued elsewhere is presented. In terms that are explained, the parties are jointly committed to intend as a body that such-and-such. Collective action problems in the sense of rational choice theory—problems such as the various forms of coordination problem…Read more
  • Expressivism, Inferentialism, and Saving the Debate
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2). 2007.
    Theoretical reasoning aims to expand our knowledge of how the world is. Practical reasoning aims to expand our knowledge of how to behave in the world as we know it to be. Although this distinction between theoretical and practical reasoning is notoriously central to normative ethical theorizing, its significance has, I think, been underappreciated and misconstrued in the metaethical debate about realism. I suspect that this is the result of two aspects of that debate: (a) the realism debate has…Read more
  • Formal rationality and its pernicious effects on the social sciences
    Harold Kincaid
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (1): 67-88. 2000.
    This article argues that a particular notion of rationality, more exactly a specific notion of legitimate inference, is presupposed by much work in the social sciences to their detriment. The author describes the notion of rationality he has in mind, explains why it is misguided, identifies where and how it affects social research, and illustrates why that research is weaker as a result. The notion of legitimate inference the author has in mind is one that believes inferences are guided by princ…Read more
  • Hans Rott has argued, most recently in his book Change, Choice and Inference, that certain formal correspondences between belief revision and rational choice have important philosophical implications, claiming that the former strongly indicate the unity of practical and theoretical reason as well as the primacy of practical reason. In this paper, I confront Rott's argument with three serious challenges. My conclusion is that, while Rott's work is indisputable as a formal achievement, the philoso…Read more
  • Deliberative coherence
    Synthese 108 (1). 1996.
    Choosing the right plan is often choosing the more coherent plan: but what is coherence? We argue that coherence-directed practical inference ought to be represented computationally. To that end, we advance a theory of deliberative coherence, and describe its implementation in a program modelled on Thagard's ECHO. We explain how the theory can be tested and extended, and consider its bearing on instrumentalist accounts of practical rationality.
  • The normativity of action
    Philosophical Psychology 19 (3): 401-416. 2006.
    The concept of action is playing an increasingly prominent role in attempts to explain how subjects can represent the world. The idea is that at least some of the role traditionally assigned to internal representations can, in fact, be played by the ability of subjects to act on the world, and the exercise of that ability on appropriate occasions. This paper argues that the appeal to action faces a serious dilemma. If the concept of action employed is a representational one, then the appeal to a…Read more
  • Two kinds of purposive action
    European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2). 2001.
    It is normally assumed that there is only one kind of purposive action. This article argues that there are two kinds of purposive action, which require different models of explanation. One kind of action is done without awareness of reasons; another kind of action is done because the agent is aware of reasons for that action. The argument starts by noting that philosophers disagree about what explains action. Some claim that actions are explained by impersonal facts, such as facts about how thin…Read more
  • the voluntary actions of such beings cannot be covered by causal laws. Decision theorists, accepting the premise of this argument, appeal instead to noncausal laws predicated on principles of success—oriented action, and use these laws to produce substantive and testable predictions about large—scale human behavior. The primary directive of success-oriented action is maximization of some valuable quantity. Many economists and social scientists use the principles of decision theory to explain soc…Read more
  • Self-reference and the acyclicity of rational choice
    Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 96 (1-3): 117-140. 1999.
    Self-reference in semantics, which leads to well-known paradoxes, is a thoroughly researched subject. The phenomenon can appear also in decision theoretic situations. There is a structural analogy between the two and, more interestingly, an analogy between principles concerning truth and those concerning rationality. The former can serve as a guide for clarifying the latter. Both the analogies and the disanalogies are illuminating.
  • Unrealistic assumptions in rational choice theory
    Aki Lehtinen and Jaakko Kuorikoski
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2): 115-138. 2007.
    The most common argument against the use of rational choice models outside economics is that they make unrealistic assumptions about individual behavior. We argue that whether the falsity of assumptions matters in a given model depends on which factors are explanatorily relevant. Since the explanatory factors may vary from application to application, effective criticism of economic model building should be based on model-specific arguments showing how the result really depends on the false assum…Read more
  • In this paper I contest Searle's thesis that desire-independent reasons for action - 'reasons that are binding on a rational agent, regardless of desires and dispositions in his motivational set' - are inherent in the concept of rationality. Following Searle's procedure, I first address his argument that altruistic reasons for action inhere in the concept of rationality, and then examine his argument for his more general thesis. I conclude that a viable theory of rational action would be centere…Read more
  • Reasons and motivation
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 71 (1). 1997.
    When we have a normative reason, and we act for that reason, it becomes our motivating reason. But we can have either kind of reason without having the other. Thus, if I jump into the canal, my motivating reason was provided by my belief; but I had no normative reason to jump. I merely thought I did. And, if I failed to notice that the canal was frozen, I had a reason not to jump that, because it was unknown to me, did not motivate me. Though we can have normative reasons without being motivated…Read more
  • Unintentional collective action
    Sara Rachel Chant
    Philosophical Explorations 10 (3). 2007.
    In this paper, I examine the manner in which analyses of the action of single agents have been pressed into service for constructing accounts of collective action. Specifically, I argue that the best analogy to collective action is a class of individual action that Carl Ginet has called 'aggregate action.' Furthermore, once we use aggregate action as a model of collective action, then we see that existing accounts of collective action have failed to accommodate an important class of (what I shal…Read more
  • Non-cogntivism, normativity, belief
    Frank Jackson
    Ratio 12 (4). 1999.
    I argue that the (widely accepted) normative constraints on belief raise a serious problem for non-cognitivism about normativity