People often reason contrary to the prescriptions of classical logic. In this project we study cases of divergence between everyday and logical-mathematical reasoning and, challenging the canonical view, we hypothesise that they are a straightforward consequence of a tendency in human cognition to neglect empty representations (neglect-zero).
We develop logics which formally represent the neglect-zero tendency and rigorously study its impact on interpretation; explore possible conventionalizations of neglect-zero effects in specific linguistic domains; and experimentally investigate the impact of neglect-zero in ordinary reasoning and its conjectured suspension for example in the context of a mathematical proof.
Title: Nothing is Logical
Abstract: People often reason contrary to the prescriptions of classical logic. In the talk I will discuss some cases of divergence between everyday and logical-mathematical reasoning and propose that they are a consequence of a tendency in human cognition to neglect models which verify sentences by virtue of an empty configuration [neglect-zero tendency, Aloni 2022]. I will then introduce a bilateral state-based modal logic (BSML) which formally represents the neglect-zero tendency and can be used to rigorously study its impact on reasoning and interpretation. After discussing some of the applications, I will compare BSML with related systems (truthmaker semantics, possibility semantics, and inquisitive semantics) via translations into Modal Information Logic [van Benthem 2019].
Title: Knowing and believing an epistemic possibility
Abstract: What does it mean to know or believe that something might be the case? In this talk, we address the issue focusing on the epistemic possibility expressed by English might when embedded under the propositional attitude verbs know and believe. We present some puzzles to highlight the challenges arising from such know-might and believe-might sentences…
Title: Neglect-Zero Effects on Indicative Conditionals: Extending BSML and BiUS with an implication
Location: Room F1.15, Science Park 107, Amsterdam
Supervisor: Maria Aloni