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Bayesian Rationality – The probabilistic approach to human reasoning - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Bayesian Rationality: The probabilistic approach to human reasoning

Mike Oaksford and Nick Chater


Are people rational? This question was central to Greek thought and has been at the heart of psychology and philosophy for millennia. This book provides a radical and controversial reappraisal of conventional wisdom in the psychology of reasoning, proposing that the Western conception of the mind as a logical system is flawed at the very outset. It argues that cognition should be understood in terms of probability theory, the calculus of uncertain reasoning, rather than in terms of logic, the calculus of certain reasoning.

Keywords: rationalism, thought, cognition, logic, calculus

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780198524496
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524496.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mike Oaksford, author
Professor of Psychology and Head of School, Birkbeck College London, UK

Nick Chater, author
Professor of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, Department of Psychology, University College London, UK