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Grant number like: FT-56582-09

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Joshua Schechter
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 8/31/2009

Reasoning and Rationality: The Epistemology of our Most Basic Patterns of Reasoning

Reasoning is ubiquitous in our lives. It is one of the hallmarks of being human. Are we justified in reasoning in the ways that we do? If so, what explains this justification? There is difficulty in answering these questions for our most basic patterns of reasoning, since any argument given in their support will be question-begging. This project presents a novel approach to this problem, inspired in part by Reichenbach's work on induction in the 1930s. It develops the idea that basic patterns of reasoning may be justified by virtue of their indispensability to the central projects of rationality---explanation, deliberation, planning, and self-evaluation. This approach connects the epistemology of justification with an analysis of the fundamental nature of rationality.