Conditionals: A theory of meaning, pragmatics, and inference

Psychological Review 109 (4):646-678 (2002)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The authors outline a theory of conditionals of the form If A then C and If A then possibly C. The 2 sorts of conditional have separate core meanings that refer to sets of possibilities. Knowledge, pragmatics, and semantics can modulate these meanings. Modulation can add information about temporal and other relations between antecedent and consequent. It can also prevent the construction of possibilities to yield 10 distinct sets of possibilities to which conditionals can refer. The mental representation of a conditional normally makes explicit only the possibilities in which its antecedent is true, yielding other possibilities implicitly. Reasoners tend to focus on the explicit possibilities. The theory predicts the major phenomena of understanding and reasoning with conditionals

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,346

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Semantics.David Beaver & Joey Frazee - forthcoming - The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics 2nd Edition.
Conditionals from a Linguistic Point of View: Two Case Studies.Katrin Schulz - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):805-816.
An Information-Based Theory of Conditionals.Wayne Wobcke - 2000 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 41 (2):95-141.
The Semantics of Conditionals.Jonathan Mark Strand - 1991 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
Pragmatics.Noel Burton-Roberts (ed.) - 2007 - Palgrave-Macmillan.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-05-26

Downloads
45 (#261,945)

6 months
1 (#450,993)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ruth Mary Josephine Byrne
Trinity College, Dublin

Citations of this work

Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The cognitive functions of language.Peter Carruthers - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):657-674.
Illegitimate Values, Confirmation Bias, and Mandevillian Cognition in Science.Uwe Peters - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1061-1081.

View all 158 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Unified Theories of Cognition.Allen Newell - 1990 - Harvard University Press.

View all 116 references / Add more references