, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 79–95

Reasoning with conditionals


DOI: 10.1007/s11245-006-9001-9

Cite this article as:
Politzer, G. Topoi (2007) 26: 79. doi:10.1007/s11245-006-9001-9


This paper reviews the psychological investigation of reasoning with conditionals, putting an emphasis on recent work. In the first part, a few methodological remarks are presented. In the second part, the main theories of deductive reasoning (mental rules, mental models, and the probabilistic approach) are considered in turn; their content is summarised and the semantics they assume for if and the way they explain formal conditional reasoning are discussed, in particular in the light of experimental work on the probability of conditionals. The last part presents the recent shift of interest towards the study of conditional reasoning in context, that is, with large knowledge bases and uncertain premises.


Human reasoning Conditional Deduction Natural logic Mental models Mental rules Defeasible reasoning Probabilistic reasoning 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS, Institut Jean-NicodParisFrance

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