Schedule and Supporting Materials

For a list of course policies, go here. Please review this document before asking me about course logistics.

Readings that are accessible via the Middlebury network are hyperlinked below. All other readings are in a password-protected directory accessible via the “Readings” tab above. The password is semlogcog. I will post copies of handouts and PowerPoint presentations by the end of each week. Should you miss a class, please ask another student for materials that you did not receive.


Readings and assignments to be discussed




Introductions. Syllabus.


Read Bermudez, “Levels of Psychological Explanation” in Philosophy of Psychology: A Critical Introduction

[Handout] [PPT]


Formal Semantics and the Material Conditional


Read Portner, “The Fundamental Question” in What is Meaning? [Handout] [PPT]


Read Kearns, Chapter 1 [Handout] [PPT]


Read Kearns, §2.1-§2.2

Read Priest, §0.1 and §1.1-§1.5

Suggested Background: Papineau, pp. 137-148 [Handout]


Assignment 1: do Priest, p. 19, Exercises 1a, c, f, g, j


Linguistic challenges to the material conditional

Read Priest, §1.6-§1.10 [Handout] [PPT]


Psychological challenges to the material conditional

Read Nickerson, Ch. 3 [Handout] [PPT]


Interlude: Brainstorming Sessions


Brainstorming Session 1: Psychology. Over, David, and Nicole Cruz. 2019. “Philosophy and the Psychology of Conditional Reasoning.” In Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics, edited by Andrew Aberdein and Matthew Inglis, 225-249. London: Bloomsbury Academic. [A link to the form for your homework is in the password-protected Readings section.]



Brainstorming Session 2: Neuroscience. Goel, V., & Waechter, R. (2018). Inductive and deductive reasoning: Integrating insights from philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. In L. J. Ball & V. A. Thompson (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of thinking and reasoning. London: Routledge. Skip the sections on Induction (So skip pp. 220-222, 226-231, 241-243).

 [A link to the form for your homework is in the password-protected Readings section.]



Brainstorming Session 3: Integration in the Cognitive Sciences. Taylor, Samuel D. 2021. “Two kinds of explanatory integration in cognitive science.Synthese 198 (5): 4573-4601. [A link to the form for your homework is in the password-protected Readings section.]



How to design a class. Assignment of presenters.


DateReadingPresenters Questions
3/14Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and Conversation. In D. Davidson & G. Harman (Eds.), The Logic of Grammar (pp. 64-75).Thea, AtticusY 
3/16Johnson-Laird, P. N., Goodwin, G. P., & Khemlani, S. S. (2018). Mental models and reasoning. In Routledge international handbook of thinking and reasoning. (pp. 346-365). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Alex, ShriyaZ 
3/18-3/25Class Cancelled: Spring Break 
3/28Evans, J. S. B. T. (2018). Dual-process theories. In Routledge international handbook of thinking and reasoning. (pp. 151-166). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Piper, JennyZBoran, Ashley
3/30-4/1Class Cancelled 
4/4Goel, V. (2009). Fractionating the system of deductive reasoning. In E. Pöppel, B. Gulyas & E. Kraft (Eds.), The neural correlates of thinking. New York: Springer Science.Claudia, IsaacY/ZHans, Elsa
4/6Feedback Session 1: Presentations from 3/14 to 4/4 
4/8*Class Cancelled 
4/11Elqayam, S. (2018). The new paradigm in psychology of reasoning. In Routledge international handbook of thinking and reasoning. (pp. 130-150). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.Aaron, RemiYElise, Sebin
4/13Two readings: Oaksford, M., & Chater, N. (2003). Conditional Probability and the Cognitive Science of Conditional Reasoning. Mind & Language, 18(4), 359-379.Byrne, R. M. J., & Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2009). ‘If’ and the problems of conditional reasoning. Trends in cognitive sciences, 13(7), 282-287.Rose, NickZAddison, Maya
4/15*Class Cancelled 
4/18Gigerenzer, G., & Hug, K. (1992). Domain-specific reasoning: Social contracts, cheating, and perspective change. Cognition, 43(2), 127-171.Isabel, Sarah­YNate, Lily
4/20Brighton, H., & Gigerenzer, G. (2008). Bayesian brains and cognitive mechanisms: Harmony or dissonance. In N. Chater & M. Oaksford (Eds.), The probabilistic mind: prospects for Bayesian cognitive science. (pp. 189-208). New York: Oxford University PressMargaux, FranchescaZLiam, Shantel
4/22*Class Cancelled: Student Symposium 
4/25Prado, J., & Noveck, I. A. (2006). How reaction time measures elucidate the matching bias and the way negations are processed. Thinking & Reasoning, 12(3), 309-328.Alnaw, ChrisYAlex, Shriya, Piper, Jenny
4/27Oaksford, M. (2015). Imaging deductive reasoning and the new paradigm. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9.Liam, ShantelZAlnaw, Chris
4/29*Feedback Session 2
Section Y: 4/11 and 4/18
Section Z: 4/13 and 4/20
5/2Bickle, J. (2006). Reducing mind to molecular pathways: explicating the reductionism implicit in current cellular and molecular neuroscience. Synthese, 151(3), 411-434.Nate, LilyYMargaux, Franscesca
5/4Craver, C. F., & Tabery, J. (2019). Mechanisms in Science. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2019 Edition). URL = <>.Addison, MayaZIsabel, Sarah­
5/6*Feedback Session 3
Section Y: 4/25 and 5/2
Section Z: 4/27 and 5/4
5/9Piccinini, G., & Craver, C. (2011). Integrating psychology and neuroscience: functional analyses as mechanism sketches. Synthese, 183(3), 283-311.Elise, SebinYRose, Nick
5/11Weiskopf, D. A. (2017). The explanatory autonomy of cognitive models. In D. Kaplan (Ed.), Explanation and integration in mind and brain science. (pp. 44-69). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Hans, ElsaZAaron, Remi
5/13Potochnik, A., & Sanches de Oliveira, G. (2020). Patterns in Cognitive Phenomena and Pluralism of Explanatory Styles. Topics in Cognitive Science, 12(4), 1306-1320.Boran, AshleyYClaudia, Isaac
5/16*Feedback Session 4:
Section Y: 5/9 and 5/13
Section Z: 5/11
5/22 Final Due (my mailbox 2nd Floor Twilight 5pm)