Chapter

Only Connections

Philip N. Johnson-Laird

in How We Reason

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551330
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191701580 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551330.003.0008
Only Connections

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This chapter discusses how humans make deductions that depend only on logical connections between propositions. It's a puzzle that psychologists have been investigating for forty years, and this chapter provides the solution based on mental models and the solution to who murdered Mr. Ratchett on the Orient Express. It starts by reporting a little light logic in order to understand better these solutions. If the connectives and, or, and if, had only logical meanings, the present chapter give a full account of their interpretation. The solution to the murder on the Orient Express is that everyone except the Countess stabbed the wicked Mr. Ratchett. The problem is trivial for a computer program when it uses complete models.

Keywords: logical connections; humans; mental models; Mr. Ratchett; murder; Orient Express

Chapter.  5103 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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