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

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

Krzyżanowska, Karolina ORCID: 0000-0003-4831-2524, Collins, Peter J. ORCID: 0000-0003-4831-2524 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 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2017.03.009)

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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 con- ditionals 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 dis- course coherence from a stronger notion of connection: probabilistic relevance. Results indicate that mere discourse coherence is not enough to make conditionals assertable.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indicative conditionals; Probabilistic relevance; Discourse coherence; Assertability
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2020 11:32
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28096

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