Rationality and the Wason Selection Task: a Logical Account

Psyche 15 (1):109-131 (2009)
Abstract
The main goal of the paper is to investigate the relation between indicative conditionals and rationality. We wil l do this by consider- ing several interpretations of a very wel l-known example of reasoning involving conditionals, that is the Wason selection task, and showing how those interpretations have different bearings on the notion of ra- tionality. In particular, in the first part of the paper, after having briefly presented the selection task, we wil l take a look at two prag- matic responses to the chal lenge posed by the task, through Wason’s notion of confirmation bias and Grice’s theory of conversational im- plicature. The second part wil l introduce Adams’ probabilistic view of indicative conditionals and wil l give reasons for preferring his account to those aforementioned. The conclusion wil l evaluate the question of human rationality in the light of the new standpoint acquired.
Keywords Adam's semantics  conditionals  subjective probability
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