, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 75–80 | Cite as

The Mental Model Theory of Conditionals: A Reply to Guy Politzer

  • Philip N. Johnson-Laird
  • Ruth M. J. Byrne
  • Vittorio Girotto


This paper replies to Politzer’s (2007) criticisms of the mental model theory of conditionals. It argues that the theory provides a correct account of negation of conditionals, that it does not provide a truth-functional account of their meaning, though it predicts that certain interpretations of conditionals yield acceptable versions of the ‘paradoxes’ of material implication, and that it postulates three main strategies for estimating the probabilities of conditionals.


Human reasoning Conditionals Mental models Probabilistic reasoning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip N. Johnson-Laird
    • 1
  • Ruth M. J. Byrne
    • 2
  • Vittorio Girotto
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland
  3. 3.University IUAV VeniceVeniceItaly

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