The Engine of Thought is a Hybrid
- Speaker: Prof. Aidan Feeney (Queens University Belfast)
- Host: Uli Sattler
- 25th February 2015 at 14:00 in Kilburn L.T. 1.4
The Engine of Thought is a Hybrid: Associative and Structured Knowledge for Inductive Reasoning Questions about which knowledge we use for reasoning and how we update that knowledge in the light of new information have occupied researchers in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, philosophy and psychology. In this talk I will provide a psychological account of how our knowledge about categories informs reasoning. Clearly, one of the primary functions of our categories is to support reasoning. For example, given evidence that collies have ulnar arteries we might expect Afghan hounds to also have ulnar arteries or when told that rhinos like to eat pickled onions we might expect elephants rather than dogs to like them as well. Earlier psychological theories of how we make such inferences tended to assume that the underlying knowledge is associative or that it takes the form of structured relations between categories. In this talk I will propose a hybrid account and describe evidence that different forms of knowledge appear to affect reasoning differently under different processing conditions. Furthermore, I will provide evidence that the availability of different forms of knowledge can result in conflict during reasoning and that the selective use of knowledge for reasoning requires reasoners to apply control processes which appear to be specific to semantic knowledge.