Conditionals in context
Ordinary conditionals are not asserted in isolation. They are used in a context where a speaker communicates with a listener. This context includes the goals and motivations of the speaker and via his/her theory of mind those of the listener and the shared knowledge that they possess. The previous chapters have discussed the importance of pragmatics in understanding the use of conditionals and have looked at some experimental work on how context influences reasoning or judgement in the previous chapter on the Wason selection task. This chapter focuses mostly on content and context effects on the conditional inferences Modus Ponens (MP), Denial of the Antecedent (DA), Affirmation of the Consequent (AC), and Modus Tollens (MT) that were discussed with reference to experiments on arbitrary materials in Chapter 3.
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