N∅thing is Logical

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.

Full Description: [PDF]

Latest news

18 November 2023

PALLMYR talk by Tomasz Klochowicz

Tomasz Klochowicz presented his work on Free Choice Question at XIII Paris-Amsterdam-London Logic Meeting for Young Reaserchers Title: Free Choice Questions

Abstract: Polar questions like ‘May I go to the park or to the beach?’ give rise to inferences similar to Free Choice Permission. The Yes answer to these questions corresponds to the permission to freely choose between going to the park and going to the beach. No corresponds to Dual Prohibition, i.e., prohibition to go to either place. I empirically tested these intuitions. I will indicate how the collected data can allow us to establish the source of these inferences and compare the findings to predictions made by current theories of Free Choice extended with question semantics. The collected data poses a challenge to the semantic and scalar approaches to free choice and supports non-scalar pragmatics as a uniform solution to the free choice puzzle.

See more

11 September 2023

Defence of Jialiang Yan

Title: “Monotonicity in Intensional Contexts” The defence will be held at 14:00 CET on zoom.

6 September 2023

SuB28 Poster Marco Degano

Marco Degano will present joint work with Paul Marty, Sonia Ramotowska, Maria Aloni, Richard Breheny, Jacopo Romoli, and Yasu Sudo at Sinn und Bedeutung 28.
Title: Distinguishing between speaker’s uncertainty and possibility

Abstract: The work reports on two experiments that tested whether sentences containing disjunctions like “the mystery box contains a blue ball or a yellow ball” can give rise to possibility inferences without uncertainty. The results showed that participants derived possibility inferences even when uncertainty was not present, challenging traditional accounts of ignorance inferences and supporting recent proposals that derive possibility independently of uncertainty.

See more