On the consistency of Sherlock Holmes’ old maxim: A logical and neurocomputational approach

Citation data:

THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 31, Issue: 1, Page: 7-25

Publication Year:
2016
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12170
DOI:
10.1387/theoria.13959
Author(s):
Eduardo Mizraji
Publisher(s):
UPV/EHU Press, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Tags:
Arts and Humanities
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article description
Natural languages can express some logical propositions that humans are able to understand. We illustrate this fact with a famous text that Conan Doyle attributed to Holmes: "It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". This is a subtle logical statement usually felt as an evident truth. The problem we are trying to solve is the cognitive reason for such a feeling. We postulate here that we accept Holmes' maxim as true because our adult brains are equipped with neural modules that naturally perform modal logical computations.

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