Basic Conditional Reasoning: How Children Mimic Counterfactual Reasoning

Studia Logica 102 (4):793-810 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Children approach counterfactual questions about stories with a reasoning strategy that falls short of adults’ Counterfactual Reasoning (CFR). It was dubbed “Basic Conditional Reasoning” (BCR) in Rafetseder et al. (Child Dev 81(1):376–389, 2010). In this paper we provide a characterisation of the differences between BCR and CFR using a distinction between permanent and nonpermanent features of stories and Lewis/Stalnaker counterfactual logic. The critical difference pertains to how consistency between a story and a conditional antecedent incompatible with a nonpermanent feature of the story is achieved. Basic conditional reasoners simply drop all nonpermanent features of the story. Counterfactual reasoners preserve as much of the story as possible while accommodating the antecedent.

Similar books and articles

Psychological Studies of Causal and Counterfactual Reasoning.James Woodward - 2008 - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Sarah R. Beck (eds.), Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation. Oxford University Press. pp. 16.
Recognition of Proofs in Conditional Reasoning.John Best - 2005 - Thinking and Reasoning 11 (4):326 – 348.
A Lewisian Logic of Causal Counterfactuals.Jiji Zhang - 2013 - Minds and Machines 23 (1):77-93.
Structural Counterfactuals: A Brief Introduction.Judea Pearl - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):977-985.
Reasoning with Conditionals.Guy Politzer - 2007 - Topoi 26 (1):79-95.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-10-22

Downloads
163 (#76,045)

6 months
23 (#45,243)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Josef Perner
University of Salzburg
Brian Leahy
Harvard University

References found in this work

Generics and the Structure of the Mind.Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):375–403.
Counterfactuals.Dorothy Edgington - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt1):1-21.

View all 9 references / Add more references