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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 17751
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   Reason, reasoning, and the taking condition
  Author(s):  Hamid Vahid
  Status:   Forthcoming
  Journal: European Journal of Philosophy
  Year:  2025
  Supported by:  IPM
Theoretical reasoning (inference) is a conscious personal‐level activity and a causal process. It is the process of revising one's beliefs for a reason whereby some of our beliefs cause or result in other beliefs. But inference is more than mere causation. This raises the question of what exactly distinguishes theoretical reasoning from mere causal processes. Paul Boghossian has located the distinguishing feature of inference in, what he calls, the "taking condition" requirement (TC). It turns out, however, that all attempts to explain this notion fail. In this paper, I shall offer an indirect argument for the taking condition grounded in a specific account of the structure of epistemic reasons that distinguishes two levels of epistemic normativity, namely, the possession and justification levels. I show how such an account can legitimize the role of (TC) in reasoning and deflect the standard objections raised against it. Finally, I explain how this proposal naturally accommodates the defeasibility of reasoning.

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