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How We Reason - Oxford Scholarship Online
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How We Reason

Philip Johnson-Laird


Good reasoning can lead to success; bad reasoning can lead to catastrophe. Yet, it is not obvious how humans reason, and why humans make mistakes. In recent years huge strides have been made into developing a scientific understanding of reasoning. This book looks at the mental processes that underlie a human's reasoning. We can all reason from childhood onwards — but how? The book outlines an approach to understanding reasoning, according to which, humans don't rely on the laws of logic or probability — they reason by thinking about what's possible, by seeing what is common to the possibilitie ... More

Keywords: reasoning, logic, probability, mistakes, irrational fear, psychological illness, terrorists, ideologies, Wright brothers, analogies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199551330
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551330.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Johnson-Laird, author
Stuart Professor of Psychology, Princeton University, USA

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Front Matter