Reasoning: A Social Picture

Paperback | June 4, 2014

byAnthony Simon Laden

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Thinking about reasoning suffers from a failure of vision. Philosophers, social scientists, and others who discuss and analyze reasoning have a particular activity in view: reasoning to figure things out, solve problems, and reach judgments. But there is a different activity we engage in thatwe call reasoning. We reason in the course of living together, when we are responsive to those with whom we live and neither commanding nor deferring to them, neither manipulating nor ignoring them. Analysis of this second kind of activity has relied on the tools and frameworks developed to makesense of the first kind of activity. In this book, Anthony Simon Laden invites his readers to approach this activity of reasoning on its own terms. He claims that if we are to truly see and appreciate the role and value of reasoning in living together, we need a new, social picture of the activity of reasoning. According to the socialpicture of reasoning developed here, reasoning is a species of conversation, and like casual conversation is social and ongoing. It is neither defined nor determined by its end, although it is governed by a set of characteristic norms. It consists of inviting others to accept that our words canspeak for them as well. Reasoning: A Social Picture proposes an attractive new approach to thinking about how to live together, reasonably.

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Thinking about reasoning suffers from a failure of vision. Philosophers, social scientists, and others who discuss and analyze reasoning have a particular activity in view: reasoning to figure things out, solve problems, and reach judgments. But there is a different activity we engage in thatwe call reasoning. We reason in the course o...

Anthony Simon Laden is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Reasonably Radical: Deliberative Liberalism and the Politics of Identity (Cornell, 2001) and co-editor, with David Owen, of Multiculturalism and Political Theory (Cambridge, 2007). He has written numerous articles on reasoning,...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:300 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:June 4, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198706413

ISBN - 13:9780198706410

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgementsPart I: An Alternative PicturePrologue1. The Initial Sketch2. Authority3. The Rational Significance of ConversationPart II: Reasoning Together4. Norms of Conversation5. Reasoning as Responsive Conversation6. Engaged ReasoningPart III: Responding7. Responding Reasonably8. Reasonable Responses9. Intelligible ResponsesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Laden's argument is extremely rich in content and introduces a wide range of novel arguments, making this book not only one of the most interesting recent additions to the literature about social conceptions of rationality, but also genuinely enjoyable to read ... it combines a great numberof challenging ideas with an extraordinarily clear line of argument; it certainly will play a major role in the discussion of social theories of reasoning and deliberation. It is an important contribution which will put a number of questions on the philosophical agenda for some time to come." --Titus Stahl, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews