A Linking Belief is Not Essential for Reasoning

John Broome

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In reasoning, you acquire a new conclusion attitude on the basis of premise attitudes. It is commonly thought that an essential feature of reasoning is that you have a linking belief, which is a belief that the premises imply the conclusion. This chapter shows that a linking belief is not essential for reasoning. A genuinely essential feature of reasoning is that you acquire the conclusion attitude by following a rule. A linking belief may be a necessary feature of theoretical reasoning, because it may be a consequence of having the disposition to follow a rule. But it is not essential for reasoning, which is to say that it does not contribute to making the process reasoning. For other sorts of reasoning including practical reasoning, a linking belief is not even necessary.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReasoning: New Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking
    EditorsM Balcerak Jackson & B Balcerak Jackson
    Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780198791478
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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