Reasoning and argumentation

Authored by: Hugo Mercier

The Routledge International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138849303
eBook ISBN: 9781315725697
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315725697-22

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Abstract

Reasoning can be understood as the private mental act of accepting or rejecting a conclusion based on reasons supporting or attacking this conclusion. For instance, Paul hesitates between going to the Japanese restaurant and to the Mexican restaurant, but then he remembers that he’s a bit hard up at the moment, and that the Japanese restaurant is more expensive; then he has a reason to pick the Mexican place. Argumentation, which involves reasoning, is a public act of using reasons to convince others and to evaluate others’ reasons to decide whether one ought to be convinced. Knowing that Lara is also on a budget, Paul could use the same reason to convince her that Mexican is the best option, and she could evaluate this reason to make sure it is sound.

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