Skip to main content

Varieties of Reasoning: Assessing Adequacy

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Helmut Reich's theory of relational and contextual reasoning is a courageous initiative for the resolution of cognitive conflicts between apparently incompatible or incommensurable views. Built upon Piagetian logico-mathematical reasoning, cognitive complexity theory, and dialectical and analogical reasoning, it includes the development of a both/and logic inclusive of binary either/or logic. Reich provides philosophic, theoretical, and even initial empirical support for the development of this form of reasoning along with a heuristic for its application. A valuable step beyond the limits of binary, static, and formal reasoning, it takes relationship, context, and perspectival variations seriously in an explicitly reflective and iterative system. We can and do address conflicts not resolvable by conventional appeals to logic or evidence, including those at epistemic boundaries or produced by belief-commitment differences. Although this form of reasoning has real promise, including stepping beyond complementarity in the religion-science dialogue, it seems better directed to causally explanatory theories than to other forms of rendering meaning. Finally, its coextension requirement may render it problematic where functionally coherent explananda cannot be identified or are themselves produced or constituted by a belief system.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: complementarity; epistemology; explanandum; explanation; logic; meaning; rationality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1Professor of Psychology, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown,

Publication date: 2003-06-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more