Drawing the Line: Ratonal Cognitive Therapy, Information, and Boundary Issues

It has been claimed that cognitive therapists endorse sets of uplifting beliefs BECAUSE the client feels better believing them: not because they lead towards greater verisimilitude, a purported cognitivist‟s hallmark of rational choice. Since the therapist asks us to choose sets of beliefs that interpret evidence on the basis of grater individual happiness (all other things being equal), this suggests that the basis of choice goes beyond rationality. I contend that the case against the rationality of cognitive therapy is not made if one allows a broadening of what to count as rational cognitive therapy. The rationality of therapy consist in how well it achieves its goal. My claim is that at least one goal is, or ought to be, greater information value of the client‟ dialogues. Among other things, information values encode affect. Understanding reason in this way effectively transforms our understanding of rationality in a way that may be incommensurable with the standard view. If incommensurable, there is no way to discover that we are still talking about the same thing. So, a challenge for this competing view is to say on what basis the term cognitive therapy may be projectable. I identify some constraints on this project and sketch a possible solution.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Incommensurability  Underdetermination  Philosphy of Science  Cognitive Science  Cognitive Therapy  Rationality
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