1st Edition

Rules for the Inquiring Mind A Unified Framework of Norms of Inquiry

By Luis Rosa Copyright 2025
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book concerns the nature and the norms of inquiry. It tackles not only philosophical issues regarding what inquiry is, but also issues regarding how it should and should not be executed. Roughly put, inquiry is the activity of searching for the true answers to questions of our interest. But what is the difference between empirical and armchair inquiry? And what are the right and the wrong ways to inquire? Under what conditions should one start inquiring? Which questions are such that one should not inquire into them? The book offers answers to these questions. It argues that competent armchair inquiry only makes explicit what was already implicit—the inquirer already had the answer to her question before inquiring into it, though this was not explicit to her. It also argues that we should avoid inquiring into questions whose answers are unknowable to us, in the instrumental sense of 'should', and that different modes of inquiry are called for, depending on which type of information is available to the subject. These answers are rigorously argued for, and they stem from a unified framework for modeling the activity of inquiry.

    1. The Conceptual Groundwork 2. Settling a Question and the Requisite Information 3. A One Possible World Model of Inquiry 4. Structural Conditions and a New Model with Two Norms 5. Critical Scrutiny of the Go Gather Norm 6. Critical Scrutiny of the Go Figure Norm 7. Critical Scrutiny of the Knowledge Norm 8. The Anti-Impossibility Norm of Inquiry 9. The Instrumental Benefits of Violating Instrumental Norms 10. Pseudo Questions and Interrogative Sentences 11. A System of Instrumental Norms of Inquiry; Index.


    Luis Rosa is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at CONCEPT, University of Cologne. His research is primarily in epistemology with additional interests in psychology, AI and literature.  Rosa’s work has been published in Philosophical Studies, Synthese, Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology, The Philosophical Quarterly and Erkenntnis, and in edited book collections from Routledge, Wiley, Oxford UP and Brill.