‘if p then q’ . . . and all that: Logical Elements in Reasoning and DiscourseReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 391–415

First Online: 01 July 2008Received: 06 May 2008Accepted: 06 May 2008


In this paper we explore differences in use of the so-called ‘logical’ elements of language such as quantifiers and conditionals, and use this to explain differences in performance in reasoning tasks across subject groups with different educational backgrounds. It is argued that quantified sentences are difficult natural bases for reasoning, and hence more prone to elicit variation in reasoning behaviour, because they are chiefly used with a pre-determined domain in everyday speech. By contrast, it is argued that conditional sentences form natural premises because of the function they serve in everyday speech. Implications of this for the role of logic in modelling human reasoning behaviour are briefly considered.

KeywordsReasoning Logic Interpretation Quantifiers Literacy  Download to read the full article text

Author: Marian Counihan

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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