I'm my own Grandpa: Reasoning About Identities and Other Relations

Philip N. Johnson-Laird

in How We Reason

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551330
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191701580 | DOI:
I'm my own Grandpa: Reasoning About Identities and Other Relations

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This chapter discusses reasoning about identities and other relations. In relational reasoning, a novel relation that holds between arguments in the premises is derived. These inferences can be made without relying on a memory for a similar inference, and without using rules of inference with a particular content. The use of models in reasoning is confirmed. Three important experiments are described that would demonstrate that people rely on one method rather than the other. The first experiment used descriptions of two-dimensional spatial layouts of household objects that can be found on a table. A second experiment examined reasoning about temporal relations, but it depended on verbs and their tenses to convey the order of events. A third experiment showed a still greater difficulty for meaning postulates. It can be stated that the model theory postulates that the reasoning depends on the significance of propositions.

Keywords: reasoning; model theory; spatial layouts; temporal relations; identities

Chapter.  6226 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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