Talk | Niki Pfeifer

28.04.2016 17:00 - 18:30

"The coherence perspective on conditionals: Formal and experimental work"

Niki Pfeifer

Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

"The coherence perspective on conditionals: Formal and experimental work"

About the talk

Traditionally, (binary truth-functional) logic used to be the dominant rationality framework in the cognitive psychology of reasoning. However, logic is neither a language for the uncertainty nor for the defeasibility of common sense conditionals. Therefore, probabilistic approaches have become popular for investigating cognition and conditionals. In my talk, I present an interdisciplinary approach: I bring together psychological and philosophical perspectives on reasoning about conditionals. Specifically, I present coherence-based probability logic as a new rationality framework and illustrate its psychological plausibility by selected experimental studies. I argue why conditional probability is basic for understanding both, indicative and counterfactual conditionals. Finally, I discuss why the coherence approach to probability is important for modeling human reasoning in cognitive science.

About the speaker

Niki Pfeifer was awarded his first PhD (with distinction) in psychology at the University of Salzburg (Austria) in 2006 and his second PhD (with distinction) in philosophy at the Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (The Netherlands) in 2012. He is currently a senior research fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy leading two research projects within the DFG Priority Program New Frameworks of Rationality. Moreover, he is lecturing at the University of Regensburg and an external member of the Düsseldorf Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science. Niki Pfeifer's research topics are located in the intersections of formal epistemology, probability logic, and the psychology of reasoning. Specifically, he is working on the philosophical and cognitive foundations of reasoning under uncertainty, conditionals, argumentation, and on quantification. For more information see:


Lecture Hall G (Psychologicum)

Faculty of Psychology
University of Vienna
Liebiggasse 5 (3rd floor, left wing)
A-1010 Wien