Seeing Reason

Seeing Reason : Image and Language in Learning to Think

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'A picture is worth a thousand words' Or is it? What difference does it make whether information is presented using illustrations or language?
'Seeing Reason' is an interdisciplinary study of a central topic in cognitive science: how does the mind respond to different kinds of representation of the same information, especially when learning, reasoning, and communicating. It uses philosophical, logical, linguistic, psychological, and educational methods to explore this topic, reporting theories, observations, and arguments developed during several years' research. Though the focus is on fundamental cognitive theories of human
capacities, the issues are closely related to intensely practical issues about the teaching and learning of reasoning and communication skills. Along the way it examines why the human mind has so evolved, the relationship between private language and public thought, and integrates cognitive and social
accounts of communication.
Written to be accessible to students and researchers within the fields of philosophy and psychology, this book shares new insights into how people process information, and how we use that information to reason, make decisions, and develop theories about the world in which we live.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 308 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17mm | 533g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous figures
  • 0198507747
  • 9780198507741

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Language, diagram and system ; 3. Hyperproof: industrial strength logic teaching ; 4. Euler and the syllogism: back to the age of reason ; 5. Why do we have to learn logic? A paradox resolved ; 6. Interpretation, reasoning, and communication ; 7. Cards and dice: assessing evidence and understanding experimenters ; 8. The proof of a power station is in the...diagrams and equations for practitioners ; 9. Involvement and detachment in learning to communicate ; 10. Bloor, Lakatos and the sociology of diagrams ; 11. Conclusions for practice ; 12. Conclusions for theory
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Review quote

In addressing the association between mental functioning and external representation, Seeing Reason should, I believe, be commended for its success not only in progressing a theoretical synthesis relating to the topic of reasoning and representation, but in simultaneously tackling head-on various complex issues relating to the learning of reasoning skills. It is rare to find contemporary analyses of human reasoning that attempt to cover both sides of the
theory-practice divide, let alone that endeavour to build a bridge between them . . . Seeing Reason is erudite (with an appropriate smattering of wit) and is a good example of some of the best published work in contemporary cognitive science. It is the kind of book that should serve to inspire new researchers
embarking on the study of deductive reasoning. * The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 57A *
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About Keith Stenning

Psychology and philosophy at Oxford. PhD at Rockefeller University in New York. Taught at Liverpool University before moving to Edinburgh to the Center for Cognitive Science in 1983. Now Director of the Human Communication Research Centre.

ESRC Senior Research Fellow 1999-2002

Chariman-elect of Cognitive Science Society 2002-2003

Research interests are in the cognitive science of human reasoning and communication, especially thelearning of reasoning and communication skills. What is the relation between logical foundations and empirical psychology of human representation adn reasoning capacities? How can cognitive and social accounts of human reasoning and communication be integrated?
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