Philip Johnson-Laird

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Philip N. Johnson-Laird (born 12 October 1936) is a philosopher of language and reasoning. He was a professor at Princeton University's Department of Psychology, as well as the author of several notable books on human cognition and the psychology of reasoning.[1]


He was educated at Culford School and University College London where he won the Rosa Morison Medal in 1964 and a James Sully Scholarship between 1964–66. He achieved a BA there in 1964 and a PhD in 1967.[2] He was elected to a Fellowship in 1994.

His entry in Who's Who (2007 edition) records the following career history:

He joined the department of psychology at Princeton University in 1989, where he became the Stuart Professor of Psychology in 1994.[1] He retired in 2012.[3]

Johnson-Laird is a member of the American Philosophical Society,[4] a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the British Academy, a William James Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from: Göteborg, 1983; Padua, 1997; Madrid, 2000; Dublin, 2000; Ghent, 2002; Palermo, 2005. He won the Spearman Medal in 1974, the British Psychological Society President's Award in 1985, and the International Prize from Fyssen Foundation in 2002.

Along with several other scholars, Johnson-Laird delivered the 2001 Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology at the University of Glasgow,[2] published as The Nature and Limits of Human Understanding (ed. Anthony Sanford, T & T Clark, 2003). He has been a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences since 2007.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2010). "Mental models and human reasoning". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 107. pp. 18243–18250. doi:10.1073/pnas.1012933107.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (2006). How We Reason. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-856976-3.
  • Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2002). "Peirce, logic diagrams, and the elementary operations of reasoning". Thinking & Reasoning. Vol. 8. pp. 69–95. doi:10.1080/13546780143000099.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (1988). Computer and the Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Science. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-15616-6.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (1993). Human and Machine Thinking (Distinguished Lecture Series). LEA, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8058-0921-3.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (with Ruth M. J. Byrne) (1991). Deduction. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-86377-149-1.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (1983). Mental Models: Toward a Cognitive Science of Language, Inference and Consciousness. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-56882-2.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (with Peter Cathcart Wason) (1977). Thinking: Readings in Cognitive Science. Cambridge University Press.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (with George Armitage Miller) (1976). Language and Perception. Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0-674-50948-1.
  • Johnson-Laird, Philip N (with Peter Cathcart Wason) (1972). Psychology of Reasoning: Structure and Content. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-72127-2.


  1. ^ a b Ahmed, F. (2011). "Profile of Philip N. Johnson-Laird". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (50): 19862–4. Bibcode:2011PNAS..10819862A. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117174108. PMC 3250179. PMID 22065789.
  2. ^ a b "Philip Johnson-Laird". 18 August 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Eleven professors retire from faculty". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 6 June 2012.
  4. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 24 May 2021.