Workshop From cognitive science and psychology to an empirically-informed philosophy of logic

Workshop From cognitive science and psychology to an empirically-informed philosophy of logic: Home

From cognitive science and psychology to an empirically-informed philosophy of logic


The workshop will bring together logicians, philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists to discuss the interface between cognitive science and psychology, on the one hand, and the philosophy of logic on the other hand. More specifically, we wish to investigate the extent to which (if at all), and in what ways, experimental results from these fields may contribute to the formulation of an empirically-informed philosophy of logic, one that takes into account how human agents, logicians and non-logicians alike, in fact reason.

Insofar as logic is traditionally seen as an a priori, normative enterprise, it might be thought that 'empirically-informed philosophy of logic' is something of an oxymoron. However, closer inspection shows that, in the philosophy of logic literature, there are quite a few arguably quasi empirical claims being made, which are nevertheless typically presented as non-empirical or in any case as demanding no more than 'armchair reflection' (e.g. analyses of 'our' understanding of the meaning of logical constants etc.). The main purpose of the workshop is to urge philosophers of logic to 'get real' and to seek empirical corroboration for such claims, when appropriate. The claim is not that all issues within philosophy of logic should be reduced to empirical issues, but rather that some of them are (quasi) empirical to start with (typically, regarding human cognition), and thus should be treated as such.


See 'Theme' for a more detailed exposition of the purposes of the workshop.


Dates: December 7th-9th 2010 (the workshop ends at lunchtime on December 9th)

Place: Doelenzaal  Singel 425, Amsterdam (inside the University Library – see 'Workshop Venue')

Organizers: Catarina Dutilh Novaes and Peter van Ormondt

Scientific committee: Catarina Dutilh Novaes, Martin Stokhof, Wilfrid Hodges

Sponsors: NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ), ILLC



Invited talks:

Johan van Benthem (logic – University of Amsterdam): Opening


David Over (psychology – Durham): “New paradigm psychology of conditionals”

Michiel van Lambalgen (logic and philosophy
University of Amsterdam): “Logical form in cognitive processes”

Helen de Cruz (philosophy – Leuven University): "Animal logic, an evolutionary perspective on deductive reasoning"

Keith Stenning (psychology and computer science – University of Edinburgh): "The emergence of classical logic in human reasoning as a case study of individual and societal origins of cognitive capacities"

Rafael Nuñez (cognitive science – UC San Diego): “Towards an embodied grounding of logic: a view from cognitive science”

Francis Jeffrey Pelletier (cognitive science, philosophy, linguistics – Simon Fraser University): "Reasoning with generic information"

Catarina Dutilh Novaes (philosophy 
University of Amsterdam): “Formal languages and the extended, altered mind”


Contributed talks:

M.J. Frápolli & S. Assimakopoulos (University of Granada): “The inferential nature of logical constanthood: The case of conjunction”

Shira Elqayam (De Montfort University, Leicester): “Normativism and descriptivism in psychology of reasoning: the role of formal systems”

Ole Hjortland (Arché-St. Andrews): “Is logic empirical?”

Ben Sheredos & Tyler Marghetis (University of California, San Diego): “Towards a new psychologistic logic; some anti-Fregean (and Fregean!) hypotheses”

Fred Sommers (Brandeis University): “A Cognitive Logic””

Adam Streed (University of California, San Diego): “Expressivism as a Reasonable Psychologism”

Alexandra Varga (Central European University - Budapest) & Michiel van Lambalgen (University of Amsterdam): “Infants’ closed-world reasoning about what to do, when, what for”

Mark Zelcer & Leib Litman (Touro College) : “A cognitive neuroscience approach to the sorites paradox”

For further information, please write to  peipl2010 @ (remove spaces)