A333 – week 24 – In defence of the rationality thesis?

I am still managing to keep a week ahead of schedule on my philosophy course and hope to steal an extra week over the Easter break so that I will have been able to read all of the final book before our final tutorial in the middle of April. This week continued looking at the rationality puzzle, this time taking apart the standard principle that humans are rational only if reasoning in accordance with logic, probability theory, etc. If we can reject the standard picture than we can resolve the rationality puzzle generated by experiments showing how people often don’t appear to reason in accordance with logic, probability theory, etc. No direct mention of Kahneman this week, though he was alluded to in Papineau’s recognition that we can reason in two ways: a fast, intuitive manner (which is often caught out by the rationality experiments); and a slow manner which utilises logic, probability theory, etc. But, since this is philosophy instead of psychology there was much arguing as to what constitutes rational reasoning, slicing and dicing it into some form of mush by the end, so that the rationality puzzle could be said to apply in only a small number of cases and even then we could train ourselves not to fall into its traps. So, yay?

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