We are considering Wason's 'A', 'D', '4', and '7'.
In a message dated 2/26/2016 6:03:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx corrects a former slightly misleading exegesis of
views: "I am not saying "always" - my contention is more measured. I am saying
"may be getting it 'right for the wrong reason' in the 'A', 'D', '4', '7'
"I am leaving open the wider implications of this. I am not saying there
are no examples of Wason Tests where people get it right for the right
Nice to learn. I love "for the right reason", "for the right reasons" and
"for the wrong reason" and "for the wrong reasons". I wonder if Scalia used
any of these in his discussion on abortion (My Grice-themed thread, "Grice
is dead, long live Grice!" was meant as a parody of Scalia's serious, "The
constitution is dead, dead, dead", which somewhat flouts Grice's maxim of
informativeness since, 'dead dead dead' seems to be a nice figure of
rhetoric, hyperbole and emphasis, for what less loquacious utterers would have
"I am suggesting that the "inner process" of persons doing these tests is
Indeed. I wonder what Wason's philosophy of psychology is. I think he was a
behaviourist at heart and that he thought that the display of a test such
as his selection task MANIFESTS (to use lingo loved by Witters and
Anscombe) the misreasoner's irrationality, or as Wason's prefer 'confirmation
bias', where 'bias' is like Kuhn's faith, only different.
"while we may be certain whether their answer is correct or not logically,
it is far from certain what their psychological "inner process" is."
Indeed. I wonder if Johnson-Laird, who co-authored essays with Wason, is
more clear on the issue.
"So far I've left out the 'D' from discussion. My remarks can be applied
to the 'D' card, which very few people choose as needing to be turned over
i.e. as relevant. For there are two reasons why we might decide 'D' is
irrelevant - a valid one and an invalid one."
Or to use earlier parlance.
i. The misreasoner misreasoned for the right reason.
ii. The misreasoner misreasoned for the wrong reason.
(Are wrong reasons reasons?)
"The invalid one is"
iii. 'D' cannot confirm the rule.
"The valid one is:"
iv. 'D' cannot disconfirm the rule.
Or as I prefer
v. D does not "confirm" the 'if' utterance.
vi. D does not disconfirm the 'if' utterance.
Talk of 'can' is modal, and I don't think Wason was into modal logic. There
may be less technical keywords than 'confirm' and 'disconfirm' here that
may mislead Wason's experimentees less, I'm sure.
"It is likely most test-subjects do not psychologically distinguish these
two 'reasons' and work more 'intuitively'. But logically they are distinct
and only one is valid: if people rightly dismiss 'D' as irrelevant because
it cannot confirm the rule then they may be doing so for the wrong reason.
This becomes clearer if we take the same test but remove the assumption that
every card has a number on one side and a letter on the other. Absent this
assumption, all four cards must be turned over because it is possible that
where there is a letter face-up there is a letter on the other side, and
where there is a number face-up there is a number on the other side - and
such a card would falsify the ['if' utterance]:
vi. If [there is] a vowel [on one side of the card], [there is] an even
number on the other side.
vii. There is a vowel on one side of the card ⊃ There is an even number on
the other side of the card
viii. p ⊃ q
"So, absent this assumption, 'D' becomes logically relevant because it
could falsify [i.e. DISCONFIRM] the ['if' utterance] - but it does not become
relevant because 'D' could now confirm the ['if' utterance]. My further
suggestion is that many people get confused here because they cannot keep
clearly to the logical distinction between confirmation and disconfirmation
may, for example, characterise disconfirmatory potential as if it's
confirmatory potential. ([For the record] Some of these [Wason] people even
professorships in philosophy."
But are they also MBA? Grice have one and was the other?
Thanks for the clarification. I'm getting there, I hope.
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html