Uncertainty and the de Finetti tables

Thinking and Reasoning 19 (3-4):308-328 (2013)
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Abstract

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)

References found in this work

Introduction to metamathematics.Stephen Cole Kleene - 1952 - Groningen: P. Noordhoff N.V..
Truth and probability.Frank Ramsey - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge. pp. 52-94.
On conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Reasoning.Peter C. Wason - 1966 - In B. Foss (ed.), New Horizons in Psychology. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 135-151.

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