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    Theories of reasoning and the computational explanation of everyday inference

    Oaksford, Mike and Chater, N. (1995) Theories of reasoning and the computational explanation of everyday inference. Thinking and Reasoning 1 (2), pp. 121-152. ISSN 1354-6783.

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    Following Marr (1982), any computational account of cognition must satisfy constraints at three explanatory levels: computational, algorithmic, and implementational. This paper focuses on the first two levels and argues that current theories of reasoning cannot provide explanations of everyday defeasible reasoning, at either level. At the algorithmic level, current theories are not computationally tractable: they do not “scale-up” to everyday defeasible inference. In addition, at the computational level, they cannot specify why people behave as they do both on laboratory reasoning tasks and in everyday life (Anderson, 1990). In current theories, logic provides the computational-level theory, where such a theory is evident at all. But logic is not a descriptively adequate computational-level theory for many reasoning tasks. It is argued that better computational-level theories can be developed using a probabilistic framework. This approach is illustrated using Oaksford and Chater's (1994) probabilistic account of Wason's selection task.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 12:52
    Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 07:33


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