Conditionals, Counterfactuals, and Rational Reasoning: An Experimental Study on Basic Principles

Minds and Machines 27 (1):119-165 (2017)

Niki Pfeifer
Universität Regensburg
We present a unified approach for investigating rational reasoning about basic argument forms involving indicative conditionals, counterfactuals, and basic quantified statements within coherence-based probability logic. After introducing the rationality framework, we present an interactive view on the relation between normative and empirical work. Then, we report a new experiment which shows that people interpret indicative conditionals and counterfactuals by coherent conditional probability assertions and negate conditionals by negating their consequents. The data support the conditional probability interpretation of conditionals and the narrow-scope reading of the negation of conditionals. Finally, we argue that coherent conditional probabilities are important for probabilistic analyses of conditionals, nonmonotonic reasoning, quantified statements, and paradoxes.
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DOI 10.1007/s11023-017-9425-6
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Reasoning About Uncertain Conditionals.Niki Pfeifer - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (4):849-866.
Formal Epistemology and the New Paradigm Psychology of Reasoning.Niki Pfeifer & Igor Douven - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):199-221.

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