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Bayesian RationalityThe probabilistic approach to human reasoning$
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Mike Oaksford and Nick Chater

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524496

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524496.001.0001

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Logic and the Western concept of mind

Logic and the Western concept of mind

(p.1) Chapter 1 Logic and the Western concept of mind
Bayesian Rationality

Mike Oaksford

Nick Chater

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the Western conception of the mind. It traces two viewpoints of the basis of people’s ability to carry out ‘deductive’ reasoning tasks, one based on logic and the other on probability. It sets out the claims for which it is argued that probability, rather than logic, provides an appropriate framework for providing a rational analysis of human reasoning. It is also suggested that this undercuts existing logic-based theories of reasoning. While the focus will primarily be on human reasoning, both in the real world and the laboratory, it is worth stressing that the implications of the debate between the two approaches has ramifications that go far beyond the psychology of deductive reasoning.

Keywords:   logic, psychology, logical positivism, probability, deductive reasoning

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