Semantics and cognition: human reasoning in cognitive science

Lecturer(s):Keith Stenning (Edinburgh University)
Type:Foundational Course
Section:Logic and Language
Time: 9.00-10.30 (Slot 1)
Room:EM 2.44


Semantic and pragmatic theories of natural language purport to give an
abstract account of reasoning with natural language, but they are mainly
based on the evidence of linguistic intuition. Psychologists study people
performing reasoning tasks, but they study reasoning largely without
recourse to semantic or pragmatic theories. The purpose of this course is
to demonstrate that applying semantic theories to the phemonena of
subjects' reasoning can lead to greater insight both for semantics
and for psychology. We seek a new synthesis for formal and empirical work
on human reasoning, and a philosophy of science more appropriate for
cognitive investigations.

The course is both for students with knowledge of
Logic/Linguistics/Computation/AI to learn about modeling data of human
reasoning, and psychology students who want to understand what logic and
semantics have to offer for analysis of mental processes.  Some elementary
logic and semantics of natural language will be helpful,
but we will assume little psychological or philosophical background.

© ESSLLI 2005 Organising Committee 2004-12-01