Conditional Reasoning: The Unruly Syntactics, Semantics, Thematics, and Pragmatics of If by Raymond S. NickersonConditional Reasoning: The Unruly Syntactics, Semantics, Thematics, and Pragmatics of If by Raymond S. Nickerson

Conditional Reasoning: The Unruly Syntactics, Semantics, Thematics, and Pragmatics of If

byRaymond S. Nickerson

Hardcover | July 22, 2015

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Conditional reasoning is reasoning that involves statements of the sort If A (Antecedent) then C (Consequent). This type of reasoning is ubiquitous; everyone engages in it. Indeed, the ability to do so may be considered a defining human characteristic. Without this ability, human cognitionwould be greatly impoverished. "What-if" thinking could not occur. There would be no retrospective efforts to understand history by imagining how it could have taken a different course. Decisions that take possible contingencies into account could not be made; there could be no attempts to influencethe future by selecting actions on the basis of their expected effects. Despite the commonness and importance of conditional reasoning and the considerable attention it has received from scholars, it remains the subject of much continuing debate. Unsettled questions, both normative and empirical, continue to be asked. What constitutes normative conditional reasoning?How do people engage in it? Does what people do match what would be expected of a rational agent with the abilities and limitations of human beings? If not, how does it deviate and how might people's ability to engage in it be improved?This book reviews the work of prominent psychologists and philosophers on conditional reasoning. It describes empirical research on how people deal with conditional arguments and on how conditional statements are used and interpreted in everyday communication. It examines philosophical andtheoretical treatments of the mental processes that support conditional reasoning. Its extensive coverage of the subject makes it an ideal resource for students, teachers, and researchers with a focus on cognition across disciplines.

About The Author

Raymond S. Nickerson is Research Professor of Psychology at Tufts University.
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Title:Conditional Reasoning: The Unruly Syntactics, Semantics, Thematics, and Pragmatics of IfFormat:HardcoverDimensions:472 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 1.18 inPublished:July 22, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190202998

ISBN - 13:9780190202996

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Getting Started2. Conditionals3. Experimental Approaches to the Study of Conditional Reasoning4. Logic and Conditional Reasoning5. Syntactics, Semantics, and Pragmatics in Conditional Reasoning6. Rule Checking7. Counterfactual Thinking8. Counterfactual Thinking 29. Conditional Reasoning as Probabilistic Reasoning10. The Probability of the Conditional and the Conditional Probability11. Individual Differences12. Theoretical Accounts of Conditional Reasoning13. More Theoretical Accounts14. Final CommentsReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Ray Nickerson is known for being attracted to difficult intellectual puzzles-and also for dropping them in the laps of his friends, to their confusion and delight. In this book, he addresses the shortest word able to induce the longest and often most difficult of puzzles: namely, if. Asalways, Ray's work is stimulating, powerful, and a joy to read. To follow him is rather like being Dante guided by Virgil, though it is hard at times to decide whether we are traveling through the 'Inferno' or 'Paradiso.' And that is perhaps the great gift of this book." --Neville Moray, Professor Emeritus of Applied Cognitive Psychology, University of Surrey