Theories of Reasoning: Logic and Cognition

Jakub Szymanik

  • Area: LaLo
  • Level: F
  • Week: 1
  • Time: 17:00 – 18:30
  • Room: D1.03


Reasoning is one of the key aspects of human cognition. Traditionally logic was meant as a systematic theory of human reasoning, but in the 20th century the main developments in logic focused on mathematics and its foundations, and logic has been gradually replaced by more specific cognitive theories of reasoning. Still, these theories are mostly inspired by classical consideration of logic, probability, and computations. In this course we are going to particularly focus on the relationship between logical complexity and cognitive difficulty in reasoning


Tentative Outline

Topic 1: Syllogistic Reasoning;

Topic 2: Meaning and Complexity;

Topic 3: Social Reasoning;

Topic 4: Reasoning in Games;

Topic 5: Categorization;

This is a short monographic course discussing classic themes and recent developments in logic and cognitive science of reasoning. There are no prerequisites but it will mostly advantage students who are interested in logic, language, computations, and cognition. The course is planned to be self-contained and self-explanatory; reading the suggested bibliography prior to the course is not expected of the participants; questions and discussion are welcome during the lectures.


Available under this link:


  1. T. Braüner. Hybrid-Logical Reasoning in False-Belief Tasks, TARK 2013, Chennai, India.
  2. N. Gierasimczuk, H. van der Maas, and M. Raijmakers. An analytic tableaux model for Deductive Mastermind empirically tested with a massively used online learning system, Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 2013.
  3. B. Geurts. Reasoning with quantifiers. Cognition, 2003.
  4. T. Icard III, and L. Moss. Recent Progress in Monotonicity. Linguistic Issues in Language Technology, 2014.
  5. A. Isaac, J. Szymanik, and R. Verbrugge. Logic and complexity in cognitive science, Johan van Benthem on Logical and Informational Dynamics, A. Baltag and S. Smets (Eds.), Outstanding Contributions to Logic, 2014.
  6. P. N. Johnson-Laird and S. Khemlani. Toward a unified theory of reasoning. The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 2013.
  7. P. N Johnson-Laird, S. Khemlani, and G. P. Goodwin. Logic, probability, and human reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2015.
  8. D. Lassiter and N. Goodman. How many kinds of reasoning? Inference, probability, and natural language semantics. Cognition, 2015.
  9. J. Macnamara. A border dispute: The place of logic in psychology, MIT Press, 1986.
  10. J. Feldman. Minimization of Boolean complexity in human concept learning, Nature 2000.
  11. M. Oaksford and N. Chater. Bayesian rationality the probabilistic approach to human reasoning. Oxford University Press, 2007.
  12. N. Pfeifer. The new psychology of reasoning: A mental probability logical perspective. Thinking & Reasoning, 2013.
  13. L.J. Rips. The psychology of proof. Cambridge, MIT Press, 1994.
  14. K. Stenning and M. van Lambalgen. Human reasoning and cognitive science. MIT Press, 2008.
  15. M. Tessler and D. Goodman. Some arguments are probably valid: Syllogistic reasoning as communication. In Proceedings of the Thirty-Sixth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2014.
  16. R. Verbrugge, Logic and social cognition: The facts matter, and so do computational models. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 2009.