A Priori True and False Conditionals

Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1003-1030 (2017)
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Abstract

The theory of mental models postulates that meaning and knowledge can modulate the interpretation of conditionals. The theory's computer implementation implied that certain conditionals should be true or false without the need for evidence. Three experiments corroborated this prediction. In Experiment 1, nearly 500 participants evaluated 24 conditionals as true or false, and they justified their judgments by completing sentences of the form, It is impossible that A and ___ appropriately. In Experiment 2, participants evaluated 16 conditionals and provided their own justifications, which tended to be explanations rather than logical justifications. In Experiment 3, the participants also evaluated as possible or impossible each of the four cases in the partitions of 16 conditionals: A and C, A and not-C, not-A and C, not-A and not-C. These evaluations corroborated the model theory. We consider the implications of these results for theories of reasoning based on logic, probabilistic logic, and suppositions.

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References found in this work

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
From a Logical Point of View.Richard M. Martin - 1955 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 15 (4):574-575.
Essays on Form and Interpretation.Alexander Grosu - 1977 - Philosophical Review 88 (3):457-460.

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