The rational analysis of mind and behavior

Synthese 122 (1-2):93-131 (2000)
Rational analysis (Anderson 1990, 1991a) is an empiricalprogram of attempting to explain why the cognitive system isadaptive, with respect to its goals and the structure of itsenvironment. We argue that rational analysis has two importantimplications for philosophical debate concerning rationality. First,rational analysis provides a model for the relationship betweenformal principles of rationality (such as probability or decisiontheory) and everyday rationality, in the sense of successfulthought and action in daily life. Second, applying the program ofrational analysis to research on human reasoning leads to a radicalreinterpretation of empirical results which are typically viewed asdemonstrating human irrationality.
Keywords Adaptive  Analysis  Behavior  Environment  Metaphysics  Mind  Model  Rational
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