Markus Knauff

Markus Knauff is Professor of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Giessen.

  • The Handbook of Rationality

    Markus Knauff and Wolfgang Spohn

    The first reference on rationality that integrates accounts from psychology and philosophy, covering descriptive and normative theories from both disciplines.

    Both analytic philosophy and cognitive psychology have made dramatic advances in understanding rationality, but there has been little interaction between the disciplines. This volume offers the first integrated overview of the state of the art in the psychology and philosophy of rationality. Written by leading experts from both disciplines, The Handbook of Rationality covers the main normative and descriptive theories of rationality—how people ought to think, how they actually think, and why we often deviate from what we can call rational. It also offers insights from other fields such as artificial intelligence, economics, the social sciences, and cognitive neuroscience.

    The Handbook proposes a novel classification system for researchers in human rationality, and it creates new connections between rationality research in philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. Following the basic distinction between theoretical and practical rationality, the book first considers the theoretical side, including normative and descriptive theories of logical, probabilistic, causal, and defeasible reasoning. It then turns to the practical side, discussing topics such as decision making, bounded rationality, game theory, deontic and legal reasoning, and the relation between rationality and morality. Finally, it covers topics that arise in both theoretical and practical rationality, including visual and spatial thinking, scientific rationality, how children learn to reason rationally, and the connection between intelligence and rationality.


    Rakefet Ackerman, Max Albert, Jason McKenzie Alexander, Ali al-Nowaihi, Hanne Andersen, Line Edslev Andersen, Jean-François Bonnefon, Rainer Bromme, John Broome, Anke Bueter, Ruth M. J. Byrne, Nick Chater, Peter Collins, Leda Cosmides, Nicole Cruz, Stephanie de Oliveira Chen, Sanjit Dhami, Franz Dietrich, Didier Dubois, Shira Elqayam, Jonathan St. B. T. Evans, Christoph Fehige, Klaus Fiedler, Lupita Estefania Gazzo Castañeda, Lukas Gierth, Andreas Glöckner, Vinod Goel, Till Grüne-Yanoff, Rebecca Gutwald, Ulrike Hahn, Alan Hájek, Stephan Hartmann, Ralph Hertwig, Eric Hilgendorf, Brian Hill, John Horty, Mateja Jamnik, Philip N. Johnson-Laird, Gabriele Kern-Isberner, Sangeet Khemlani, Karl Christoph Klauer, Hartmut Kliemt, Markus Knauff, Anastasia Kozyreva, Fenrong Liu, Henry Markovits, Ralph Mayrhofer, Linda McCaughey, Björn Meder, Georg Meggle, Arthur Merin, Julian Nida-Rümelin, Richard Nisbett, Mike Oaksford, Klaus Oberauer, David P. O'Brien, David E. Over, Judea Pearl, Andrés Perea, Danielle Pessach, Martin Peterson, Niki Pfeifer, Henri Prade, Johannes Prager, Henry Prakken, Marco Ragni, Werner Raub, Hans Rott, Olivier Roy, Hanno Sauer, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Gerhard Schurz, Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, Sonja Smets, Michael Smith, Kai Spiekermann, Wolfgang Spohn, Julia Staffel, Keith E. Stanovich, William B. Starr, Valerie A. Thompson, John Tooby, Maggie E. Toplak, Johan van Benthem, Hans van Ditmarsch, Michael R. Waldmann, Ralph Wedgwood, Ulla Wessels, Richard F. West, Alex Wiegmann, John Woods, Niina Zuber

    • Hardcover $195.00
  • Space to Reason

    Space to Reason

    A Spatial Theory of Human Thought

    Markus Knauff

    An argument against the role of visual imagination in reasoning that proposes a spatial theory of human thought, supported by empirical and computational evidence.

    Many scholars believe that visual mental imagery plays a key role in reasoning. In Space to Reason, Markus Knauff argues against this view, proposing that visual images are not relevant for reasoning and can even impede the process. He also argues against the claim that human thinking is solely based on abstract symbols and is completely embedded in language. Knauff proposes a third way to think about human reasoning that relies on supramodal spatial layout models, which are more abstract than pictorial images and more concrete than linguistic representations. He argues that these spatial layout models are at the heart of human thought, even thought about nonspatial relations in the world.

    For Knauff the visual images that we so often associate with reasoning are only in the foreground of conscious experience. Behind the images, the actual logical work is carried out by reasoning-specific operations on these spatial layout models. Knauff also offers a solution to the problem of indeterminacy in human reasoning, introducing the notion of a preferred layout model, which is one layout model among others that has the best chance of being mentally constructed and thus guides the further process of thought. Knauff's "space to reason" theory covers the functional, the algorithmic, and the implementational level of analysis and is corroborated by psychological experiments, functional brain imaging, and computational modeling.

    • Hardcover $45.00