Uncertainty and the de Finetti tables

Thinking and Reasoning 19 (3-4):308-328 (2013)
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The new paradigm in the psychology of reasoning adopts a Bayesian, or prob- abilistic, model for studying human reasoning. Contrary to the traditional binary approach based on truth functional logic, with its binary values of truth and falsity, a third value that represents uncertainty can be introduced in the new paradigm. A variety of three-valued truth table systems are available in the formal literature, including one proposed by de Finetti. We examine the descriptive adequacy of these systems for natural language indicative condi- tionals and bets on conditionals. Within our framework the so-called “defective” truth table, in which participants choose a third value when the antecedent of the indicative conditional is false, becomes a coherent response. We show that only de Finetti’s system has a good descriptive fit when uncer- tainty is the third value.



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Author Profiles

Guy Politzer
Institut Jean Nicod
Jean Baratgin
Université Paris 8 (Alumnus)

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