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Francesco Berto: Inconsistent Thinking, Fast and Slow

Lecture by Francesco Berto (University of Amsterdam), organized by the Department of Theoretical Philosophy


This plays on Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow. According to various cognitive scientists, we implement two reasoning systems. Our Slow system is based on logical rules and can be formally trained. Our Fast system is associative, context-sensitive, and integrates what we conceive via background information.

Slow inconsistent thinking may rely on paraconsistent logical rules or not, but I focus on Fast inconsistent thinking in this talk. I approach our Fast-conceiving inconsistencies in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and so-called non-normal or impossible worlds, based on world similarity. The explicit content of an inconsistent conception works similarly to a ceteris paribus relevant conditional antecedent.

I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability. I also discuss how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus counterfactual conditionals, the closest worlds are relevantly closest belief-worlds: closest to how things are believed to be, rather than to how they are. Apriority, and the opacity of intentional contexts, also play a role in determining closeness.

When & where?

Thu 5 June 2014, 3.15-5 pm
Faculty of Philosophy, Room Gamma

Laatst gewijzigd:22 mei 2014 14:17