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Title: Going native in logic : a psychophilosophical approach to deduction.
Author: Amini, Majid.
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This work is concerned generally with the relationship between logic and psychology, and in particular with the psychophilosophical foundations of deductive reasoning. This is against the recurrent background of logicians and psychologists knowing of the existence of each other but ignoring each others' work. However, cognitive psychology needs logic, not only as all sciences do to ensure coherence and consistency, but as an essential element of a general theory of cognition. This is a substantive claim, yet in its narrower form it highlights the need to study the precise way in which logic enters the theory of cognition. The contention here is that a theory of mental logic may satisfy both requirements: namely, to be the best explanation for everyday deductive reasoning and to offer an insight into the cognitive architecture. The theory maintains that deductive, reasoning consists of operations on internal representations in accordance with logical rules implemented in procedures activated by the forms of mental representation. Thus, the foundations of the logic(s) at which logicians aim, viz. the logical precepts and ideals, must be psychologically real in the sense of being instantiated in some form in the mind. The discussion is organised into three parts. The first part deals with several issues: arguments for and against the centrality of deduction, desiderata for a theory of deductive competence, and taxonomy of reasoning theories and topics. The second part considers the mental logic hypothesis from its inception to its latest formations. It reconstructs the mental logic paradigm and its transition from a general philosophical commonplace to a psychological hypothesis. The third part looks at the philosophical connections and consequences of the mental logic theory. The first connection is with the language of thought: the hypothesis seems naturally to commit itself to a language of thought on whose formulas abstract rules apply. Another connection is with the syntactic theory of mind and the question is whether mental logic is committed to it or not. Among the consequences, the notion of rationality and the significance of deduction for discovery and justification in science are examined
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Deductive reasoning