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    Between a conditional’s antecedent and its consequent: discourse coherence vs. probabilistic relevance

    Krzyżanowska, K. and Collins, Peter J. and Hahn, Ulrike (2017) Between a conditional’s antecedent and its consequent: discourse coherence vs. probabilistic relevance. Cognition 164 , pp. 199-205. ISSN 0010-0277.

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    Abstract

    Reasoning with conditionals is central to everyday life, yet there is long-standing disagreement about the meaning of the conditional. One example is the puzzle of so-called missing-link conditionals such as “if raccoons have no wings, they cannot breathe under water.” Their oddity may be taken to show that conditionals require a connection between antecedent (“raccoons have no wings”) and consequent (“they cannot breathe under water”), yet most accounts of conditionals attribute the oddity to natural-language pragmatics. We present an experimental study disentangling the pragmatic requirement of discourse coherence from a stronger notion of connection: probabilistic relevance. Results indicate that mere discourse coherence is not enough to make conditionals assertable.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Indicative conditionals, Probabilistic relevance, Discourse coherence, Assertability
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 14:17
    Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 14:00
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/19067

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