Essays on rationality

Implications for Management The recent economic downturn seems to have been precipitated by a series of bad decisions made by consumers -- at the encouragement of opportunistic loan officers and organizations that ought to have known better and in many instances probably did -- in selecting loan products that they could not afford.

Essays on rationality

The Roots of Reason: Reviewed by Horacio Arlo Costa, Carnegie Mellon University This volume gathers together five essays on related topics that the author has published in various journals since In addition chapter 5 on causality is entirely new.

Rationality article essays

Chapter 4 on probability was originally written in collaboration with Helen Beebee. The book succeeds at presenting an articulated and coherent view in various areas of epistemology and philosophy of science, treating a series of issues ranging from the foundations of decision theory and probability to various interesting problems in the cognitive sciences.

The first three chapters center on classical epistemological issues as well as on certain aspects of the evolution of cognition. Together they present a forceful and original naturalistic account, which, at times, is directly at odds with widespread philosophical views on the nature of content, knowledge and the aims of inquiry.

The last three chapters on probability, causation and quantum mechanics form another cohesive part of the book. Even when the topics discussed in these last three chapters are of a more technical nature, they are presented in a very accessible and readable manner.

The first chapter focuses on normativity and judgment. The author seems to be interested in the normativity of methods for forming, fixing and changing beliefs not only in the context of scientific inquiry, but also in everyday reasoning.

This naturalist approach to normativity stands opposed to most contemporary theories of content, which tend not to be of a naturalist type. Papineau classifies methods for fixing belief externally in terms of how good they are in producing certain outputs, namely in yielding true pieces of information.

In order to do so truth is assumed as a primitive used by the theorist in order to classify methods of belief fixation. We know many things, and will learn more; what we will never know for certain is which of the things we believe are true. Since it is neither visible as a target, nor recognizable when achieved, there is no point in calling truth a goal.

From the fact that we will never be able to tell which of our beliefs is true, pragmatists conclude that we may as well identify our best researched, most successful, beliefs with the true ones, and give up the idea of objectivity.

Truth is objective if the truth of a belief or sentence is independent of whether it is justified by all our evidence, believed by our neighbors or is good to steer by.

But here we have a choice. Instead of giving up the traditional view that truth is objective, we can give up the equally traditional view to which the pragmatists adhere that truth is a norm, something for which to strive. But I think they would have done better to cleave to a view that counts truth as objective, but pointless as a goal.

The view rests on a familiar articulation of fallibilism, according to which held information is always polluted by doubt. A thorough probabilism and anti-inductivism in philosophy of science, for example, is a position compatible with this account.

The pursuit of truth under this point of view is deflated to the mere enterprise of increasing the degree of credence in our beliefs, gathering further evidence and checking calculations. Papineau sketches a response in footnote 5 of chapter two p. The idea is to compare different methods by their outputs and to invoke as well theoretical considerations, in order to figure out which method is unreliable for truth.

Essays on rationality

This response broadens the consequentialist approach defended throughout the book, but ultimately the reader is referred to a previous book for precisions about this issue.

True, an economical method that generates lots of important falsehoods is not generally worth much. But neither is a reliable method that consumes costly resources in generating trivialities p.

Even when epistemic rationality seems to offer a narrow view of rationality for the reasons specified by the author himself in the quote aboveepistemic rationality is the standard of rationality that drives much of the discussions about the evolution of knowledge in chapter two.

In chapters two and three an evolutionary perspective is used in order to explain how beings with our evolutionary story come to be so good at theoretical rationality. The discussion touches interesting issues related to the status of experimental findings in psychology, which seem to indicate the presence of widespread irrationality in human agents.

In page 42 Papineau offers a menu of some of the classical experiments, which seem to indicate that normal subjects in experimental settings ignore base rates, violate basic laws of probability, etc.

What matters for him is that the data indicates an apparent failure of epistemic rationality. One of the main issues in chapters two and three is how are we evolutionarily capable of doing this in spite of our biological limitations i. The solution offered by Papineau is ingenious, although in many crucial aspects it remains sketchy.

First, one has to suppose that our ancestors were capable of identifying the end of truth and that they knew how to achieve it. His idea is that the outputs of the modules are not supplanted by rational outputs.The primary objective of this paper is to qualitatively analyze economic literature and draw conclusions pertaining to the concept of rationality and.

The themes the essays cover are fundamental to economics: the influence of benevolence, altruism, justice and religious principles in our treatment of others in society; and the bases of rationality in decision making under conditions of attheheels.coms: 1.

Free rationality papers, essays, and research papers. The Economic Rationality Assumption - The economic rationality assumption has given an important connation for the market efficiency, as it has been the base to carry out the construction of the modern knowledge in standard finance.

Essays on rationality

Papineau, David, The Roots of Reason: Philosophical Essays on Rationality, Evolution, and Probability, Oxford, , pp, $ (hbk), ISBN Reviewed by Horacio Arlo Costa, Carnegie Mellon University This volume gathers together five essays on related topics that the author has.

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