Causal Premise Semantics
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2013
Copyright © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Special Issue: 2011 Rumelhart Prize Special Issue Honoring Judea Pearl Edited by Steven A. Sloman and Judea Pearl
Volume 37, Issue 6, pages 1136–1170, August 2013
How to Cite
Kaufmann, S. (2013), Causal Premise Semantics. Cognitive Science, 37: 1136–1170. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12063
- Issue published online: 8 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 8 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 11 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 FEB 2012
- Premise semantics
The rise of causality and the attendant graph-theoretic modeling tools in the study of counterfactual reasoning has had resounding effects in many areas of cognitive science, but it has thus far not permeated the mainstream in linguistic theory to a comparable degree. In this study I show that a version of the predominant framework for the formal semantic analysis of conditionals, Kratzer-style premise semantics, allows for a straightforward implementation of the crucial ideas and insights of Pearl-style causal networks. I spell out the details of such an implementation, focusing especially on the notions of intervention on a network and backtracking interpretations of counterfactuals.