Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 199–221 | Cite as

Formal Epistemology and the New Paradigm Psychology of Reasoning

  • Niki PfeiferEmail author
  • Igor Douven


This position paper advocates combining formal epistemology and the new paradigm psychology of reasoning in the studies of conditionals and reasoning with uncertainty. The new paradigm psychology of reasoning is characterized by the use of probability theory as a rationality framework instead of classical logic, used by more traditional approaches to the psychology of reasoning. This paper presents a new interdisciplinary research program which involves both formal and experimental work. To illustrate the program, the paper discusses recent work on the paradoxes of the material conditional, nonmonotonic reasoning, and Adams’ Thesis. It also identifies the issue of updating on conditionals as an area which seems to call for a combined formal and empirical approach.


Classical Logic Explanatory Status Argument Form Empirical Adequacy Nonmonotonic Reasoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and Paul Égré for useful comments. This work is supported by the FWF project P20209 and the DFG grant PF 740/2-1 (project leader: Niki Pfeifer; project within the DFG Priority Program SPP 1516 “New Frameworks of Rationality”). Niki Pfeifer is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Munich Center for Mathematical PhilosophyLMU MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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