Thinking About the Opposite of What Is Said: Counterfactual Conditionals and Symbolic or Alternate Simulations of Negation

Cognitive Science 42 (8):2459-2501 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

When people understand a counterfactual such as “if the flowers had been roses, the trees would have been orange trees,” they think about the conjecture, “there were roses and orange trees,” and they also think about its opposite, the presupposed facts. We test whether people think about the opposite by representing alternates, for example, “poppies and apple trees,” or whether models can contain symbols, for example, “no roses and no orange trees.” We report the discovery of an inference‐to‐alternates effect—a tendency to make an affirmative inference that refers to an alternate even from a negative minor premise, for example, “there were no orange trees, therefore there were poppies.” Nine experiments show the inference‐to‐alternates effect occurs in a binary context, but not a multiple context, and for direct and indirect reference; it can be induced and reduced by prior experience with similar inferences, and it also occurs for indicative conditionals. The results have implications for theories of counterfactual conditionals, and of negation.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,219

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Information amplified: Memory for counterfactual conditionals.Samuel Fillenbaum - 1974 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 102 (1):44-49.
Presuppositions and Antipresuppositions in Conditionals.Brian Leahy - 2011 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory:257-274.
Conditionals.Anthony S. Gillies - 2017 - In Bob Hale, Crispin Wright & Alexander Miller (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 401–436.
Analysing causality: The opposite of counterfactual is factual.Jim Bogen - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):3 – 26.
Goodman and Parry on Counterfactual.Oswaldo Chateaubriand - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (3):383–397.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-09-22

Downloads
33 (#459,370)

6 months
8 (#292,366)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ruth Mary Josephine Byrne
Trinity College, Dublin