Chains of Inferences and the New Paradigm in the Psychology of Reasoning
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The new paradigm in the psychology of reasoning draws on Bayesian formal frameworks, and some advocates of the new paradigm think of these formal frameworks as providing a computational-level theory of rational human inference. I argue that Bayesian theories should not be seen as providing a computational-level theory of rational human inference, where by “Bayesian theories” I mean theories that claim that all rational credal states are probabilistically coherent and that rational adjustments of degrees of belief in the light of new evidence must be in accordance with some sort of conditionalization. The problems with the view I am criticizing can best be seen when we look at chains of inferences, rather than single-step inferences. Chains of inferences have been neglected almost entirely within the new paradigm.
Thanks to Michael Caie, Adam Marushak, Robert Brandom, Karl Schafer and an anonymous referee for this journal for their insightful comments.
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