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  1. Concrete Possible Worlds and Counterfactual Conditionals: Lewis Versus Williamson on Modal Knowledge.Andrea Sauchelli - 2010 - Synthese 176 (3):345-359.
    The epistemology of modality is gradually coming to play a central role in general discussions about modality. This paper is a contribution in this direction, in particular I draw a comparison between Lewis’s Modal realism and Timothy Williamson’s recent account of modality in terms of counterfactual thinking. In order to have criteria of evaluation, I also formulate four requirements which are supposed to be met by any theory of modality to be epistemologically adequate.
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  • Assessing Concept Possession as an Explicit and Social Practice.Alessia Marabini & Luca Moretti - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (4):801-816.
    We focus on issues of learning assessment from the point of view of an investigation of philosophical elements in teaching. We contend that assessment of concept possession at school based on ordinary multiple-choice tests might be ineffective because it overlooks aspects of human rationality illuminated by Robert Brandom’s inferentialism––the view that conceptual content largely coincides with the inferential role of linguistic expressions used in public discourse. More particularly, we argue that multiple-choice tests at schools might fail to accurately assess the (...)
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  • Unifying Morality’s Influence on Non-Moral Judgments: The Relevance of Alternative Possibilities.Jonathan Phillips, Jamie B. Luguri & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 145:30-42.
    Past work has demonstrated that people’s moral judgments can influence their judgments in a number of domains that might seem to involve straightforward matters of fact, including judgments about freedom, causation, the doing/allowing distinction, and intentional action. The present studies explore whether the effect of morality in these four domains can be explained by changes in the relevance of alternative possibilities. More precisely, we propose that moral judgment influences the degree to which people regard certain alternative possibilities as relevant, which (...)
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  • Towards a Dual Process Epistemology of Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2019 - Synthese:1-22.
    Sometimes we learn through the use of imagination. The epistemology of imagination asks how this is possible. One barrier to progress on this question has been a lack of agreement on how to characterize imagination; for example, is imagination a mental state, ability, character trait, or cognitive process? This paper argues that we should characterize imagination as a cognitive ability, exercises of which are cognitive processes. Following dual process theories of cognition developed in cognitive science, the set of imaginative processes (...)
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  • Can Contraries Prompt Intuition in Insight Problem Solving?Erika Branchini, Ivana Bianchi, Roberto Burro, Elena Capitani & Ugo Savardi - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Causal Superseding.Jonathan F. Kominsky, Jonathan Phillips, Tobias Gerstenberg, David Lagnado & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 137:196-209.
    When agents violate norms, they are typically judged to be more of a cause of resulting outcomes. In this paper, we suggest that norm violations also affect the causality attributed to other agents, a phenomenon we refer to as "causal superseding." We propose and test a counterfactual reasoning model of this phenomenon in four experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 provide an initial demonstration of the causal superseding effect and distinguish it from previously studied effects. Experiment 3 shows that this causal (...)
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  • Conditionals, Context, and the Suppression Effect.Fabrizio Cariani & Lance J. Rips - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (3):540-589.
    Modus ponens is the argument from premises of the form If A, then B and A to the conclusion B. Nearly all participants agree that the modus ponens conclusion logically follows when the argument appears in this Basic form. However, adding a further premise can lower participants’ rate of agreement—an effect called suppression. We propose a theory of suppression that draws on contemporary ideas about conditional sentences in linguistics and philosophy. Semantically, the theory assumes that people interpret an indicative conditional (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance, Narrative Engagement, Genre.Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):461-482.
    Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
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  • New Directions in the Epistemology of Modality: Introduction.Antonella Mallozzi - 2019 - Synthese:1-19.
    The fourteen papers in this collection offer a variety of original contributions to the epistemology of modality. In seeking to explain how we might account for our knowledge of possibility and necessity, they raise some novel questions, develop some unfamiliar theoretical perspectives, and make some intriguing proposals. Collectively, they advance our understanding of the field. In Part I of this Introduction, I give some general background about the contemporary literature in the area, by sketching a timeline of the main tendencies (...)
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  • On Conceiving the Inconsistent.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (1pt1):103-121.
    I present an approach to our conceiving absolute impossibilities—things which obtain at no possible world—in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and impossible worlds based on world similarity. The explicit content of a representation plays a role similar in some respects to the one of a ceteris paribus conditional antecedent. I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability, and how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus counterfactual (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We need to understand the impossible. Francesco Berto and Mark Jago start by considering what the concepts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition have in common. They are all concepts which divide the world up more finely than logic does. Logically equivalent sentences may carry different meanings and information and may differ in how they're believed. Fictions can be inconsistent yet meaningful. We can suppose impossible things without collapsing into total incoherence. Yet for the leading philosophical (...)
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  • How Contrast Situations Affect the Assignment of Causality in Symmetric Physical Settings.Sieghard Beller & Andrea Bender - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Naive Probability: Model‐Based Estimates of Unique Events.Sangeet S. Khemlani, Max Lotstein & Philip N. Johnson-Laird - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (6):1216-1258.
    We describe a dual-process theory of how individuals estimate the probabilities of unique events, such as Hillary Clinton becoming U.S. President. It postulates that uncertainty is a guide to improbability. In its computer implementation, an intuitive system 1 simulates evidence in mental models and forms analog non-numerical representations of the magnitude of degrees of belief. This system has minimal computational power and combines evidence using a small repertoire of primitive operations. It resolves the uncertainty of divergent evidence for single events, (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds and the Logic of Imagination.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1277-1297.
    I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in the imagined (...)
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  • Practical imagination as enabling practical rationality.Pereira Gustavo - 2018 - Veritas: Revista de Filosofía y Teología 39:9-31.
    Resumen El uso del término imaginación remite a un cierto tipo de actividad mental que en su formulación más básica refiere a la capacidad humana para crear imágenes en ausencia de lo representado, es decir, para representarnos objetos o estados de cosas que están ausentes, y a la capacidad para crear imágenes a partir de otras que ya se poseen. Esta formulación permite dar cuenta de una amplia gama de experiencias humanas que van desde la creación artística y la innovación (...)
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  • Models of Philosophical Thought Experimentation.Jonathan Andy Tapsell - 2014 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The practice of thought experimentation plays a central role in contemporary philosophical methodology. Many philosophers rely on thought experimentation as their primary and even sole procedure for testing theories about the natures of properties and relations. This test procedure involves entertaining hypothetical cases in imaginative thought and then undergoing intuitions about the distribution of properties and relations in them. A theory’s comporting with an intuition is treated as evidence in favour of it; but a clash is treated as evidence against (...)
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  • What Reasoning Might Be.Markos Valaris - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    The philosophical literature on reasoning is dominated by the assumption that reasoning is essentially a matter of following rules. This paper challenges this view, by arguing that it misrepresents the nature of reasoning as a personal level activity. Reasoning must reflect the reasoner’s take on her evidence. The rule-following model seems ill-suited to accommodate this fact. Accordingly, this paper suggests replacing the rule-following model with a different, semantic approach to reasoning.
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  • La concezione epistemica dell'analiticità.Alessia Marabini - 2014 - Aracne editrice.
    La rinascita negli ultimi decenni di un nutrito dibattito intorno alla nozione di analiticità dopo le critiche a suo tempo mosse da Quine alla batteria di nozioni utilizzate da Rudolf Carnap (ad esempio, postulati di significato, regole semantiche, definizioni implicite, convenzioni e stipulazioni esplicite) prende le mosse da una riflessione critica sulle argomentazioni di Quine e tenta, da un lato, di approfondire meglio il legame fra analiticità e conoscenza a priori, e, dall’altro, di capire meglio il ruolo che la definizione (...)
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  • Commentary/Elqayam & Evans: Subtracting “Ought” From “Is”.Natalie Gold, Andrew M. Colman & Briony D. Pulfordb - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5).
    Normative theories can be useful in developing descriptive theories, as when normative subjective expected utility theory is used to develop descriptive rational choice theory and behavioral game theory. “Ought” questions are also the essence of theories of moral reasoning, a domain of higher mental processing that could not survive without normative considerations.
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  • Aboutness in Imagination.Franz Berto - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1871-1886.
    I present a formal theory of the logic and aboutness of imagination. Aboutness is understood as the relation between meaningful items and what they concern, as per Yablo and Fine’s works on the notion. Imagination is understood as per Chalmers’ positive conceivability: the intentional state of a subject who conceives that p by imagining a situation—a configuration of objects and properties—verifying p. So far aboutness theory has been developed mainly for linguistic representation, but it is natural to extend it to (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Does "Think" Mean the Same Thing as "Believe"? Insights Into Religious Cognition.Larisa Heiphetz, Casey Landers & Neil Van Leeuwen - forthcoming - Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
    When someone says she believes that God exists, is she expressing the same kind of mental state as when she says she thinks that a lake bigger than Lake Michigan exists⎯i.e., does she refer to the same kind of cognitive attitude in both cases? Using evidence from linguistic corpora (Study 1) and behavioral experiments (Studies 2-4), the current work provides evidence that individuals typically use the word “believe” more in conjunction with statements about religious credences and “think” more in conjunction (...)
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  • Two Causal Theories of Counterfactual Conditionals.Lance J. Rips - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (2):175-221.
    Bayes nets are formal representations of causal systems that many psychologists have claimed as plausible mental representations. One purported advantage of Bayes nets is that they may provide a theory of counterfactual conditionals, such as If Calvin had been at the party, Miriam would have left early. This article compares two proposed Bayes net theories as models of people's understanding of counterfactuals. Experiments 1-3 show that neither theory makes correct predictions about backtracking counterfactuals (in which the event of the if-clause (...)
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  • Pretense, Counterfactuals, and Bayesian Causal Models: Why What Is Not Real Really Matters.Deena S. Weisberg & Alison Gopnik - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (7):1368-1381.
    Young children spend a large portion of their time pretending about non-real situations. Why? We answer this question by using the framework of Bayesian causal models to argue that pretending and counterfactual reasoning engage the same component cognitive abilities: disengaging with current reality, making inferences about an alternative representation of reality, and keeping this representation separate from reality. In turn, according to causal models accounts, counterfactual reasoning is a crucial tool that children need to plan for the future and learn (...)
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  • How to Reject a Counterfactual.Vittorio Morato - 2017 - Logique Et Analyse 239:317-335.
    Aaccording to D. K. lewis (1973), would-couterfactuals and might-counterfactuals are duals. from this, it follows that the negation of a would-counterfactual is equiv- alent to the corresponding “might-not”-counterfactual and that the negation of a might-counterfactual is equivalent to the corresponding “would-not”- counterfactual. there are cases, however, where we seem to be entitled to accept the would- counterfactual and we are also equally entitled to accept the corresponding might-not-counterfactual and cases where we seem to be entitled to accept the might-counterfactual without (...)
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  • Semantic Imagination as Condition to Our Linguistic Experience.Nazareno Eduardo De Almeida - 2017 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 21 (3):339-378.
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  • Rationalism and the Content of Intuitive Judgements.Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2011 - Mind 120 (478):263-327.
    It is commonly held that our intuitive judgements about imaginary problem cases are justified a priori, if and when they are justified at all. In this paper I defend this view — ‘rationalism’ — against a recent objection by Timothy Williamson. I argue that his objection fails on multiple grounds, but the reasons why it fails are instructive. Williamson argues from a claim about the semantics of intuitive judgements, to a claim about their psychological underpinnings, to the denial of rationalism. (...)
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  • Folk Intuitions, Asymmetry, and Intentional Side Effects.Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):214-219.
    An agent S wants to A and knows that if she A-s she will also bring about B. S does not care at all about B. S then A-s, also bringing about B. Did she intentionally bring B about? Joshua Knobe (2003b) has recently argued that, according to the folk concept of intentional action, the answer depends on B's moral significance. In particular, if B is reprehensible, people are more likely to say that S intentionally brought it about. Knobe defends (...)
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  • Distinguishing the Reflective, Algorithmic, and Autonomous Minds: Is It Time for a Tri-Process Theory.Keith E. Stanovich - 2009 - In Keith Frankish & Jonathan St B. T. Evans (eds.), In Two Minds: Dual Processes and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 55--88.
  • Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
    It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary capacities for understanding the world make use of much the same methods one might find in a formal scientific investigation. A series of recent experimental results offer a challenge to this widely-held view, suggesting that people’s moral judgments can actually influence the intuitions they hold both in folk psychology and in causal cognition. The present target article distinguishes two basic approaches to explaining such effects. One approach would be to say that the (...)
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  • I Could Have Done Otherwise: Availability of Counterfactual Comparisons Informs the Sense of Agency.Eugenia Kulakova, Nima Khalighinejad & Patrick Haggard - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 49:237-244.
  • The Social Origin and Moral Nature of Human Thinking.Jeremy I. M. Carpendale, Stuart I. Hammond & Charlie Lewis - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):334.
    Knobe's laudable conclusion that we make sense of our social world based on moral considerations requires a development account of human thought and a theoretical framework. We outline a view that such a moral framework must be rooted in social interaction.
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  • Episodes, Events, and Models.Sangeet S. Khemlani, Anthony M. Harrison & J. Gregory Trafton - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  • Knowledge of Counterfactuals.Timothy Williamson - 2009 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 64:45-64.
    The full-text of this book chapter is not available in ORA. Citation: Williamson, T.. Knowledge of counterfactuals. In: O'Hear, A. Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 45-64.
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  • The Mental Model Theory of Conditionals: A Reply to Guy Politzer.Philip N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Vittorio Girotto - 2009 - Topoi 28 (1):75-80.
    This paper replies to Politzer’s ( 2007 ) criticisms of the mental model theory of conditionals. It argues that the theory provides a correct account of negation of conditionals, that it does not provide a truth-functional account of their meaning, though it predicts that certain interpretations of conditionals yield acceptable versions of the ‘paradoxes’ of material implication, and that it postulates three main strategies for estimating the probabilities of conditionals.
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  • On the Relation Between Counterfactual and Causal Reasoning.Barbara A. Spellman & Dieynaba G. Ndiaye - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):466-467.
    We critique the distinction Byrne makes between strong causes and enabling conditions, and its implications, on both theoretical and empirical grounds. First, we believe that the difference is psychological, not logical. Second, we disagree that there is a strict Third, we disagree that it is easier for people to generate causes than counterfactuals.
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Gutenberg.
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The book demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Precis of the Rational Imagination: How People Create Alternatives to Reality.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):439-452.
    The human imagination remains one of the last uncharted terrains of the mind. People often imagine how events might have turned out something had been different. The of reality, those aspects more readily changed, indicate that counterfactual thoughts are guided by the same principles as rational thoughts. In the past, rationality and imagination have been viewed as opposites. But research has shown that rational thought is more imaginative than cognitive scientists had supposed. In The Rational Imagination, I argue that imaginative (...)
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  • Explanations Make Inconsistencies Harder to Detect.Sangeet Khemlani & P. N. Johnson-Laird - 2010 - In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.
  • The Processes of Inference.Sangeet Khemlani & P. N. Johnson-Laird - 2013 - Argument and Computation 4 (1):4 - 20.
    (2013). The processes of inference. Argument & Computation: Vol. 4, Formal Models of Reasoning in Cognitive Psychology, pp. 4-20. doi: 10.1080/19462166.2012.674060.
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  • Counterfactual Thinking in Moral Judgment: An Experimental Study.Simone Migliore, Giuseppe Curcio, Francesco Mancini & Stefano F. Cappa - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Development and Necessary Norms of Reasoning.Henry Markovits - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Towards a Descriptivist Psychology of Reasoning and Decision Making.Jonathan St Bt Evans & Shira Elqayam - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5):275-290.
    Our target article identified normativism as the view that rationality should be evaluated against unconditional normative standards. We believe this to be entrenched in the psychological study of reasoning and decision making and argued that it is damaging to this empirical area of study, calling instead for a descriptivist psychology of reasoning and decision making. The views of 29 commentators (from philosophy and cognitive science as well as psychology) were mixed, including some staunch defences of normativism, but also a number (...)
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  • Counterfactual Imagination as a Mental Tool for Innovation.Monika Chylińska - 2017 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 8 (T).
    In the article I demonstrate some of the possible ways by which counterfactual im⁠agination can lead people to innovation and the creation of novel and valuable solutions. I start with adopting the broad definition of counterfactuals, by which counterfactual imagination is understood as the ability to imagine alternative states of affairs which can relate to the past, present or future. I explain how counterfactual imagination differs from other sorts of imaginative and creative thoughts, pointing out that counterfactual types of thinking (...)
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  • Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
    What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
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  • The Rational Imagination and Other Possibilities.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):470-476.
    In this response I discuss some of the key issues raised by the commentators on The Rational Imagination. I consider whether the imaginative creation of alternatives to reality is rational or irrational, and what happens in childhood cognition to enable a rational imagination to develop. I outline how thoughts about causality, counterfactuality, and controllability are intertwined and why some sorts of possibilities are more readily imagined than others. I conclude with a consideration of what the counterfactual imagination is for.
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  • Is Considering True Possibilities a Truly Explanatory Principle for Imaginative Thought?Thomas B. Ward - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):468-469.
    Byrne (2005) demonstrates that reasoning and imagination are logical and governed by the same processing principles. In extending those principles to other forms of imaginative functioning, however, problems arise. The meaning of is stretched, and the causal role of the principles is not well established. Nevertheless, consideration of the extent to which ordinary cognitive processes govern creative functioning is valuable.
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  • Imagination as a Source of Rationality in Development.Henry Markovits - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):462-463.
    Byrne's book makes a strong case for the important role of imagination as a creator of possibilities that are used to understand complex relations, while remaining rational. I suggest that imagination also serves a critical developmental role by creating possibilities that are not rational, and that act to modify the nature of the cognitive processes that are used to define rationality.
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  • Counterfactuals Need Not Be Comparative: The Case of “As If”.Keith D. Markman & Matthew N. McMullen - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):461-462.
    Byrne (2005) assumes that counterfactual thinking requires a comparison of facts with an imagined alternative. In our view, however, this assumption is unnecessarily restrictive. We argue that individuals do not necessarily engage in counterfactual simulations exclusively to evaluate factual reality. Instead, comparative evaluation is often suspended in favor of experiencing the counterfactual simulation as if it were real.
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  • Thinking Developmentally About Counterfactual Possibilities.Kevin J. Riggs & Sarah R. Beck - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):463-463.
    Byrne implies that working memory development underpins children's ability to represent counterfactuals as possibilities at 3 to 4 years of age. Recent findings suggest that (1) developments in the ability to consider alternatives to reality in children of this age are underpinned by improvements in inhibitory control, not working memory, and (2) children do not develop an understanding of counterfactuals as possibilities until mid-childhood.
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