Normative and descriptive aspects in cognitive science
Since 2022 I am working in a joint project with Ulrike Hahn on the interplay between descriptive models and normative models. In its more empirical part, the work considers the ability of humans to correctly learn from probabilistic information, especially conditional probabilities. The theoretical part considers the interplay between normative and descriptive questions in cognitive science from a philsophical perspective. The first papers on this work are expected to be published in 2023.
Logical aspects of conceptual change, incommensurability
Most logical systems and other formal systems of belief representation assume a fixed language and conceptual system. The ambition of my research is to extend existing frameworks of belief revision (in particular dynamic epistemic logic) by conceptual learning and conceptual change and to apply it to cases of conceptual change in the sciences.
- Strößner, C. (2021): ``Conceptual Learning and Local Incommensurability: A Dynamic Logic Approach''. Axiomathes, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-021-09563-6
- Strößner, C. (2020) “Predicate change: a study on the conservativity of conceptual change”. Journal of Philosophical Logic (49), https://doi.org/10.1007/
Conceptual spaces, frames and natural concepts
Conceptual spaces are best known for representing perceptual concepts, while frames are often applied for representing more complex concepts. The main idea of my project is to provide a unified framework that combines the advantages of frames and conceptual spaces. Particularly, the framework was applied to the question of what makes concepts natural (i.e., salient in cognition, useful in induction etc.).
- Strößner, C. (2022): "Criteria for naturalness in conceptual spaces"'. Synthese (200), https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-022-03610-4
- Strößner, C. (2020): "Integrating conceptual spaces in frames". IfCoLog Journal of Applied Logics (7, 5), http://www.collegepublications.co.uk/downloads/ifcolog00041.pdf
Prototypes, frames and default inheritance
This project deals with the transmission of typical properties from categories to subcategories, for example from "Ravens are typically black" to "Young ravens are typically black". The project included experimental work as well as formal models based on frames (attribute-value structures). The research was published in peer-reviewed papers:
- Strößner, C. (2021): "Default Inheritance in Modified Statements: Bias or Inference?''. Frontiers in Psychology (12), https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.626023
- Strößner, C. (2020): “Compositionality meets belief revision: a Bayesian model
of modification”. Review of Philosophy and Psychology (11), https://doi.org/10.
- Strößner, C. & Schurz, G. (2020): “The role of reasoning and pragmatics in
the modifier effect”. Cognitive Science (44, 2), https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.
- Strößner, C., Schuster, A. & Schurz, G. (2021) “Modification and default
inheritance”. In Löbner, S., Gamerschlag, T., Kalenscher T., Schrenk, M. & Zeevat,
H. (eds): Concepts, Frames and Cascades in Semantics, Cognition and Ontology
- Schuster, A, Strößner, C, Sutton, P. & Zeevat, H. (2020) "Stochastic frames". In Chatzikyriakidis, S. & Howes, C. (eds): Proceedings of the Probability and Meaning Conference (PaM 2020) ACL Anthology, https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/2020.pam-1.11/
Statistical interpretation of normality statements
This was my PhD project. It addresses the relation between normality statements (e.g., "Birds can normally fly") and statistical statements (e.g., "Most birds can fly" or "Most birds can mostly fly"). I argue in favour of a partially statistical reading of normality. The research resulted in a thesis, which appeared as a book (in German):
- Strößner, C. (2014) Die Logik der Normalität: Untersuchungen zur Semantik von Normalitätsurteilen, LOGOS De Gruyter
Related research was published in the following articles:
- Strößner, C. (2018) “The Logic of ‘most’ and ‘mostly’”. Axiomathes (28, 1), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-017-9338-2
- Strößner, C. (2015) “Normality and majority: towards a statistical understanding of normality statements”. Erkenntnis (80, 4), https://doi.org/10.1007/
- Strößner, C. (2013) “Statistical and non-statistical normality” In Hoeltje, M.,
Spitzley, T. & Spohn, W. (eds.): Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? -
Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico, https://duepublico2.uni-due.de/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/duepublico_derivate_00033085/GAP8_Proceedings.pdf
Square of opposition and Universal Logic
The structure of the square of opposition is widely applicable in traditional and modern logic. I discussed it within a many-valued relevance logic as well as with respect to Aristotelian logic:
- Strößner, C. (2020) “Existential import, Aristotelian logic, and its generalizations”.
Logica Universalis (14) , https://doi.org/10.1007/s11787-020-00245-2
- Strößner, C. & Strobach, N. (2012) “Veridications and their square of opposition”.
In Béziau J.-Y. and Payette G. (eds.), New perspectives on the square of opposition.
Peter Lang Bern
I published a paper on how probabilistic and logical norms contribute to rational improvement of beliefs:
- Strößner, C. (2019) “The normative force of logical and probabilistic reasoning in improving beliefs”. Theoria 30, https://doi.org/10.1111/theo.12214
Generalized theory of evolution
Evolutionary arguments play an important role in the above-mentioned project on normality but they are also an interesting field of research in themselves. After co-organising an international conference, I co-edited a special issue on the subject:
- Feldbacher-Escamilla, C., Baraghith, K. & Strößner, C. (2021): The Generalized
Theory of Evolution, special issue of the American Philosophical Quarterly, https://www.jstor.org/stable/e48505833
An interview about the special issue can be found here.