David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
There has long been a history of studies investigating how people (“ordinary people”) perform on tasks that involve deductive reasoning. The upshot of these studies is that people characteristically perform some deductive tasks well but others badly. For instance, studies show that people will typically perform MP (“modus ponens”: from ‘If A then B’ and ‘A’, infer ‘B’) and bi-conditional MP (from: ‘A if and only if B’ and ‘A’, infer ‘B’) correctly when invited to make the inference and additionally can discover of their own accord when such inferences are appropriate. On the other hand, the same studies show that people typically perform MT (“modus tollens”: from ‘If A then B’ and ‘not-B’, infer ‘not-A’) and biconditional MT badly. They not only do not recognize when it is appropriate to draw such inferences, but also they will balk at doing them even when they are told that they can make it. Related to these shortcomings seems to be the inability of people to understand that contrapositives are equivalent (that ‘If A then B’ is equivalent to ‘If not-B then not-A’). [Studies of people’s deductive inference-drawing abilities have a long history, involving many studies in the early 20th century concerning Aristotelian syllogisms. But the current spate of studies draws much of its impetus from Wason (Wason, 1968; see also Wason & Johnson-Laird, 1972). ] The general conclusion seems to be that there are specific areas where “ordinary people” do not perform very logically. This conclusion will not come as a surprise to teachers of elementary logic, who have long thought that the majority of “ordinary people” are inherently illogical and need deep and forceful schooling in order to overcome this flaw.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Sieghard Beller & Hans Spada (2003). The Logic of Content Effects in Propositional Reasoning: The Case of Conditional Reasoning with a Point of View. Thinking and Reasoning 9 (4):335 – 378.
Michael P. Maratsos (2004). People Actually Are About as Bad as Social Psychologists Say, or Worse. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (3):351-352.
Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Renée Elio (2005). The Case for Psychologism in Default and Inheritance Reasoning. Synthese 146 (1-2):7 - 35.
Pascal Wagner-Egger (2007). Conditional Reasoning and the Wason Selection Task: Biconditional Interpretation Instead of Reasoning Bias. Thinking and Reasoning 13 (4):484 – 505.
Erica Carlisle & Eldar Shafir (2005). Questioning the Cheater-Detection Hypothesis: New Studies with the Selection Task. Thinking and Reasoning 11 (2):97 – 122.
James H. Fetzer (1990). Evolution, Rationality and Testability. Synthese 82 (3):423-39.
Beihai Zhou & Yi Mao (2006). A Base Logic for Default Reasoning. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 1 (4):688-709.
Sieghard Beller & Gregory Kuhnm (2007). What Causal Conditional Reasoning Tells Us About People's Understanding of Causality. Thinking and Reasoning 13 (4):426 – 460.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #92,044 of 1,692,220 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,665 of 1,692,220 )
How can I increase my downloads?