Modulation: A Step Towards Induction

Philip N. Johnson-Laird

in How We Reason

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551330
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191701580 | DOI:
Modulation: A Step Towards Induction

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This chapter takes a step towards induction, because it addresses how knowledge modulates the interpretation of sentences. One result is that connectives such as ‘or’ and ‘if’ cease to have their logical interpretations, and so the inferences go beyond the literal information given. The chapter specifically tries to illustrate why a grammatical view of form is not a good model of reasoning. The reasons are instructive, and lead to a more accurate picture of thinking. A final reason for rejecting logic as a model of reasoning is that so many of the inferences are not deductive, but inductive. Modulation is the bridge from deduction to induction. Normally, the meanings of words, the entities they refer to, and the knowledge of the world all modulates the interpretation of connectives and quantifiers.

Keywords: induction; modulation; knowledge; inferences; reasoning

Chapter.  3753 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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