422,892 research outputs found

    Don’t blame the norms! On the challenges of ecological rationality

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    Enlightenment thinkers viewed logic and mathematical probability as the hallmarks of rationality. In psychological research on human (ir)rationality, human subjects are typically held accountable to this arcane ideal of Reason. If people fall short of these traditional standards, as indeed they often do, they are biased or irrational. Recent work in the program of ecological rationality, however, aims to rehabilitate human reason, and to upturn our traditional conception of rationality in the process. Put bluntly, these researchers are turning the tables on the traditionalist, showing that human reasoning often outperforms complex algorithms based on the traditional canons of rationality. If human reason still appears paltry from the vantage point of capital-R Rationality, then so much the worse for Rationality. Maybe the norms themselves are in need of revision. Perhaps human reasoning is better than rational. Though we welcome the naturalization of human reason, we argue that this backlash against the classical norms of rationality is uncalled for. Ecological rationality presents two apparent challenges to the traditional canons of rationality. In both cases, we contend, the norms emerge unscathed. In the first category, norms of rationality that appear violated by individual reasoners, re-emerge at the level of evolutionary adaptation. In the second category, the norms under challenge simply turn out to be not applicable to the case at hand. Moreover, we should keep in mind that, when they are assessing the efficiency of human reasoning, advocates of ecological rationality still use the traditional norms of rationality as a benchmark. We conclude that, even if we accept all the fascinating findings garnered by the advocates of ecological rationality (and there is ample reason to do so), we need not be taken in by the rhetoric against classical rationality, or the false opposition between logical and ecological rationality. When the dust has settled, the norms are still standing

    Aesthetic Rationality

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    We argue that the aesthetic domain falls inside the scope of rationality, but does so in its own way. Aesthetic judgment is a stance neither on whether a proposition is to be believed nor on whether an action is to be done, but on whether an object is to be appreciated. Aesthetic judgment is simply appreciation. Correlatively, reasons supporting theoretical, practical and aesthetic judgments operate in fundamentally different ways. The irreducibility of the aesthetic domain is due to the fact that aesthetic judgment is a sensory-affective disclosure of, and responsiveness to, merit: it is a feeling that presents an object, and is responsive to it, as worthy of being liked. Aesthetic judgment is thus shown to be, on the hand, first personal and non-transferable; and, on the other hand, a presentation of reality. We thereby capture what is right in both subjectivist and objectivist conceptions of aesthetic judgment

    Rationality as the Rule of Reason

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    The demands of rationality are linked both to our subjective normative perspective (given that rationality is a person-level concept) and to objective reasons or favoring relations (given that rationality is non-contingently authoritative for us). In this paper, I propose a new way of reconciling the tension between these two aspects: roughly, what rationality requires of us is having the attitudes that correspond to our take on reasons in the light of our evidence, but only if it is competent. I show how this view can account for structural rationality on the assumption that intentions and beliefs as such involve competent perceptions of downstream reasons, and explore various implications of the account

    Rational Requirements and the Primacy of Pressure

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    There are at least two threads in our thought and talk about rationality, both practical and theoretical. In one sense, to be rational is to respond correctly to the reasons one has. Call this substantive rationality. In another sense, to be rational is to be coherent, or to have the right structural relations hold between one’s mental states, independently of whether those attitudes are justified. Call this structural rationality. According to the standard view, structural rationality is associated with a distinctive set of requirements that mandate or prohibit certain combinations of attitudes, and it’s in virtue of violating these requirements that incoherent agents are irrational. I think the standard view is mistaken. The goal of this paper is to explain why, and to motivate an alternative account: rather than corresponding to a set of law-like requirements, structural rationality should be seen as corresponding to a distinctive kind of pro tanto rational pressure—i.e. something that comes in degrees, having both magnitude and direction. Something similar is standardly assumed to be true of substantive rationality. On the resulting picture, each dimension of rational evaluation is associated with a distinct kind of rational pressure—substantive rationality with (what I call) justificatory pressure and structural rationality with attitudinal pressure. The former is generated by one’s reasons while the latter is generated by one’s attitudes. Requirements turn out to be at best a footnote in the theory of rationality

    Why Bayesian Rationality Is Empty, Perfect Rationality Doesn't Exist, Ecological Rationality Is Too Simple, and Critical Rationality Does the Job

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    Economists claim that principles of rationality are normative principles. Nevertheless, they go on to explain why it is in a person's own interest to be rational. If this were true, being rational itself would be a means to an end, and rationality could be interpreted in a non-normative or naturalistic way. The alternative is not attractive: if the only argument in favor of principles of rationality were their intrinsic appeal, a commitment to rationality would be irrational, making the notion of rationality self-defeating. A comprehensive conception of rationality should recommend itself: it should be rational to be rational. Moreover, since rational action requires rational beliefs concerning means-ends relations, a naturalistic conception of rationality has to cover rational belief formation including the belief that it is rational to be rational. The paper considers four conceptions of rationality and asks whether they can deliver the goods: Bayesianism, perfect rationality (just in case that it differs from Bayesianism), ecological rationality (as a version of bounded rationality), and critical rationality, the conception of rationality characterizing critical rationalism. The answer is summarized in the paper's title.rationality, self-interest, normative

    Alston\u27s Parity Thesis

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    Can Rats Reason?

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    Since at least the mid-1980s claims have been made for rationality in rats. For example, that rats are capable of inferential reasoning (Blaisdell, Sawa, Leising, & Waldmann, 2006; Bunsey & Eichenbaum, 1996), or that they can make adaptive decisions about future behavior (Foote & Crystal, 2007), or that they are capable of knowledge in propositional-like form (Dickinson, 1985). The stakes are rather high, because these capacities imply concept possession and on some views (e.g., Rödl, 2007; Savanah, 2012) rationality indicates self-consciousness. I evaluate the case for rat rationality by analyzing 5 key research paradigms: spatial navigation, metacognition, transitive inference, causal reasoning, and goal orientation. I conclude that the observed behaviors need not imply rationality by the subjects. Rather, the behavior can be accounted for by noncognitive processes such as hard-wired species typical predispositions or associative learning or (nonconceptual) affordance detection. These mechanisms do not necessarily require or implicate the capacity for rationality. As such there is as yet insufficient evidence that rats can reason. I end by proposing the ‘Staircase Test,’ an experiment designed to provide convincing evidence of rationality in rats

    Immorality and Irrationality

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    Does immorality necessarily involve irrationality? The question is often taken to be among the deepest in moral philosophy. But apparently deep questions sometimes admit of deflationary answers. In this case we can make way for a deflationary answer by appealing to dualism about rationality, according to which there are two fundamentally distinct notions of rationality: structural rationality and substantive rationality. I have defended dualism elsewhere. Here, I’ll argue that it allows us to embrace a sensible – I will not say boring – moderate view about the relationship between immorality and irrationality: roughly, that immorality involves substantive irrationality, but not structural irrationality. I defend this moderate view, and argue that many of the arguments for less moderate views turn either on missing the distinction between substantive and structural rationality, or on misconstruing it

    Economics and psychology.Perfect rationality versus bounded rationality

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    Classical mathematical algorithms often fail to identify in time when the international financial crises occur although, as the classical theory of choice would suggest, the economic agents are rational and the markets are or should be efficient and behave also rationally. This contribution does not pretend to give a complete answer to these questions, but it will highlight some well-known limits of the classical theory of rational choice and compare this theory of choice with the approach that seeks to combine economics and psychology and that has established itself as cognitive or behavioral economics. In particular, the present paper will focus on the juxtaposition of the concepts of perfect rationality and bounded rationality. It concludes with some references to the literature of behavioral finance which has given important contributions in explaining the behavior and the anomalies of financial markets.Bounded rationality; procedural rationality; rational choice; cognitive economics