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ReasoningNew Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking$
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Magdalena Balcerak Jackson and Brendan Balcerak Jackson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791478

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791478.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Inference without Reckoning

Inference without Reckoning

(p.15) 2 Inference without Reckoning

Susanna Siegel

Oxford University Press

What kinds of transitions in the mind constitute inference? A powerful idea, found in Frege, is that inference from state X to state Y requires the inferrer to represent in some way that X supports Y. This chapter argues that this model of inference would be stable and motivated only if the inferring subjects met a self-awareness condition, in which they are aware or can become aware by reflection of what they are inferentially responding to and why. It argues against the model on the grounds that a large class of mental transitions meet the hallmarks of inference yet fail to meet the self-awareness condition. It argues that a better model for inference drops the self-awareness condition and allows that subjects regularly draw inferences even when they do not represent what they are inferentially responding to or why.

Keywords:   intelligence, rationality, reasoning, Lewis Carroll regress, inference, premises, attention

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