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.

Author Profiles

Josef Perner
University of Salzburg
Brian Leahy
Harvard University

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-10-22

Downloads
163 (#44,028)

6 months
23 (#42,892)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?