From Effect to Cause: Deductive Reasoning

Ricardo Tavares da Silva 1
  • 1 Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa


According to the traditional view, the following incompatibility holds true: in reasoning, either there is warrant (certainty) or there is novelty. If there is warrant, there is not novelty: that would be the case of deductive reasoning. If there is novelty, there is not warrant: that would be the case of inductive reasoning. Causal reasoning would belong to the second group because there is novelty and, therefore, there is not warrant in it. I argue that this is false: reasoning may have novelty and, nevertheless, be a deductive one. That is precisely what happens in (some) causal reasoning. And I will develop the following line of argumentation: one thing is to warrant that some state of affairs exists and other thing is to warrant that warrant. So we may have correct deductive reasoning without having certainty of that correction, like in some cases of causal reasoning.

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