Communist Conventions for Deductive Reasoning
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 49, Issue 4, pages 776–799, December 2015
How to Cite
Dogramaci, S. (2015), Communist Conventions for Deductive Reasoning. Noûs, 49: 776–799. doi: 10.1111/nous.12025
- Issue online: 23 OCT 2015
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2013
In section 1, I develop epistemic communism, my view of the function of epistemically evaluative terms such as ‘rational’. The function is to support the coordination of our belief-forming rules, which in turn supports the reliable acquisition of beliefs through testimony. This view is motivated by the existence of valid inferences that we hesitate to call rational. I defend the view against the worry that it fails to account for a function of evaluations within first-personal deliberation. In the rest of the paper, I then argue, on the basis of epistemic communism, for a view about rationality itself. I set up the argument in section 2 by saying what a theory of rational deduction is supposed to do. I claim that such a theory would provide a necessary, sufficient, and explanatorily unifying condition for being a rational rule for inferring deductive consequences. I argue in section 3 that, given epistemic communism and the conventionality that it entails, there is no such theory. Nothing explains why certain rules for deductive reasoning are rational.