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Lines of ThoughtCentral Concepts in Cognitive Psychology$
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Lance Rips

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183054.001.0001

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(p.289) 6 Reasons
Lines of Thought

Lance J. Rips (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to make the case for the possibility that a distinct cognitive process is responsible for our ability to recognize entailments as logically necessary relations. It shows that current unitary theories of reasoning—those in which all forms of reasoning are due to a single psychological process—don't have the resources to explain what's special about our recognition of entailments. In doing so, it reviews some of the main theories of deduction that have been in play during the last few years. It also draws on some recent behavioral and neuropsychological evidence for dissociations between deductive and inductive reasoning. If the type of reasoning responsible for entailments is unique, however, then this places a special burden on theories of deduction. What sort of faculty could apprehend these necessary relations? The chapter considers some alternative ways of dividing reasoning abilities, including those based on content, and argues that these accounts fail to provide a plausible theory of deduction.

Keywords:   deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, natural kinds, unitary theories, cognitive process, deduction

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