The Logic of Conceivability

Talk by Catarina Dutilh Novaes

Catarina Dutilh Novaes on deduction and cognition: LoC seminar: Wed, Oct 3, 2018, 2pm-4pm at the ILLC

Speaker: Catarina Dutilh Novaes
Space/time: F1.15 at the ILLC, 2pm-4pm
The cognitive roots of deduction: deduction as a dialogical notion
Humans are notoriously ‘bad’ at deductive reasoning, at least if scores of experimental and empirical results are to be believed. However, there is also some evidence suggesting that, in group settings where they are allowed to deliberate, reasoners often come much closer to the canons of deductive reasoning than when reasoning individually. The question then becomes: what is it about the group setting that facilitates deductive reasoning? In my talk, I focus on what are arguably the three main features of deductive reasoning—necessary truth-preservation, belief-bracketing, and step-wise perspicuity—and present experimental results that shed light on this question. The analysis thus lends empirical support to the idea that deduction is essentially a dialogical notion, which I have been developing in recent years.