Normative Inference (Palider-2019)

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This is a definition of Normative Inference that states "An agent takes theory A to normatively infer theory B iff the agent accepts A, accepts that AB, and accepts (ε, A, AB) →ε (Should accept B)."

Normative Inference (Palider-2019).png

This definition of Normative Inference was formulated by Kye Palider in 2019.1

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

This definition has never been accepted.

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this definition has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2019-0010 Scientonomy 23 December 2019 Accept the new definitions of sufficient reason, reason, support, and normative inference. Open

Question Answered

Normative Inference (Palider-2019) is an attempt to answer the following question: What is normative inference? How should it be defined?

See Normative Inference for more details.


Whereas Implication (Palider-2019) is an analytic relation between theories, inferences are taken to be the "movements of thought" that lead to belief revision. As argued for by Palider (2019) inferences, unlike implications, necessarily involve a normative component.1p. 22 An implication alone is insufficient for an agent to revise their beliefs, or accepted theories, what is needed is that the agent take the normative stance that they should accept the theory. A normative inference is what leads an agent to taking such a normative stance.

Palider (2019) separates normative inferences into three components. The first two being the acceptance of a theory and the acceptance that the theory implies another theory. The third condition states that the normative statement that one should accept the implied theory follows from some set of norms, alongside the implication, and initial theory. As an illustration, if one has the norm that they should accept the findings of double-blind trials when it concerns the efficacy of drugs, and that acetaminophen succeeds at a double-blind trial for treating headaches, then one can normatively infer that they should accept acetaminophen's efficacy against headaches. Note however, that unlike a Sufficient Reason (Palider-2019), normative inferences do not involve the employment of the norms (or method). One can speak about theories normatively inferring others without committing to (i.e. employing) the norms in question. This allows for hypothetical discussions of what one would be committed to inferring if they employed a certain a norm, without actually employing that norm.


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  1. a b  Palider, Kye. (2019) Reasons in the Scientonomic Ontology. Scientonomy 3, 15-31. Retrieved from