David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The aim of this paper is to investigate two related aspects of human reasoning, and use the results to construct an automated theorem prover for the predicate calculus that at least approximately models human reasoning. The result is a non-resolution theorem prover that does not use Skolemization. It involves two central ideas. One is the interest constraints that are of central importance in guiding human reasoning. The other is the notion of suppositional reasoning, wherein one makes a supposition, draws inferences that depend upon that supposition, and then infers a conclusion that does not depend upon it. Suppositional reasoning is involved in the use of conditionals and reductio ad absurdum, and is central to human reasoning with quantifiers. The resulting theorem prover turns out to be surprisingly efficient, beating most resolution theorem provers on some hard problems.
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