N∅thing is Logical

Project title: Nāˆ…thing is Logical (NihiL)

Short description:

People often reason contrary to the prescriptions of classical logic. In this project we study cases of divergence between human and logical-mathematical reasoning and, challenging the canonical view, we hypothesise that they are a straightforward consequence of a tendency in human cognition to neglect empty representations (neglect-zero). We develop logics which formally represent the neglect-zero tendency and rigorously study its impact on interpretation; explore possible conventionalizations of neglect-zero effects in specific linguistic domains; and experimentally investigate the impact of neglect-zero in ordinary reasoning and its conjectured suspension for example in the context of a mathematical proof.

Principal Investigator: Maria Aloni