Personal and sub-personal

Reading Da Silva Neves et al’s (2002) An empirical test of patterns for nonmonotonic inference [Annals of Mathematics and Art. Intel., 34: 107-130]. Interesting paragraph (in what seems to be a great paper) (p. 110):

… even if we expect human inference to corroborate these properties, we know of no sufficient reason to think that lay reasoners would recognize any rationality postulate as valid, neither that they would conscientiously use them to guide their reasoning.

Then later (p. 111):

… we assume that human inference is constrained by knowledge organisation in memory and that its formal properties emerge from a spreading activation process operating directly on knowledge structures. We make the hypothesis that this spreading activation process is by and large consistent with TP [a set of properties they provide].

This is wonderful stuff, and an example of where the personal/sub-personal distinction recently exposited by Keith Frankish would come in handy. “We don’t believe these properties are available at the personal level” would have been another summary.