Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 74, Issue 1, January 2007

Bart Streumer
Pages 1-29

Inferential and Non-Inferential Reasoning

It is sometimes suggested that there are two kinds of reasoning: inferential reasoning and non-inferential reasoning. However, it is not entirely clear what the difference between these two kinds of reasoning is. In this paper, I try to answer the question what this difference is. I first discuss three answers to this question that I argue are unsatisfactory. I then give a different answer to this question, and I argue that this answer is satisfactory. I end by showing that this answer can help to resolve some disagreements in which the difference between inferential and noninferential reasoning plays a role.