David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 55 (June):218-27 (1988)
A tempting argument for human rationality goes like this: it is more conducive to survival to have true beliefs than false beliefs, so it is more conducive to survival to use reliable belief-forming strategies than unreliable ones. But reliable strategies are rational strategies, so there is a selective advantage to using rational strategies. Since we have evolved, we must use rational strategies. In this paper I argue that some criticisms of this argument offered by Stephen Stich fail because they rely on unsubstantiated interpretations of some results from experimental psychology. I raise two objections to the argument: (i) even if it is advantageous to use rational strategies, it does not follow that we actually use them; and (ii) natural selection need not favor only or even primarily reliable belief-forming strategies
|Keywords||Belief Epistemology Natural Selection Rationality Reliability Stich, S|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Greg Littmann (2011). Darwin's Doubt Defended: Why Evolution Supports Skepticism. Philosophical Papers 40 (1):81-103.
Ishtiyaque Haji (1992). Evolution, Altruism, and the Prisoner's Dilemma. Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):161-175.
Similar books and articles
Joshua Schechter (2013). Could Evolution Explain Our Reliability About Logic? In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4. 214.
Peter Murphy (2006). Reliability Connections Between Conceivability and Inconceivability. Dialectica 60 (2):195-205.
Jonathan Kvanvig (1986). How to Be a Reliabilist. American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (2):189 - 198.
Ralph Wedgwood (1999). The a Priori Rules of Rationality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):113-131.
Barry Lam (2013). Calibrated Probabilities and the Epistemology of Disagreement. Synthese 190 (6):1079-1098.
D. Benjamin Barros (2008). Natural Selection as a Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 75 (3):306-322.
Ralph Wedgwood (2011). Primitively Rational Belief-Forming Processes. In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. 180--200.
Christopher L. Stephens (2001). When is It Selectively Advantageous to Have True Beliefs? Sandwiching the Better Safe Than Sorry Argument. Philosophical Studies 105 (2):161-189.
Klaus Jaffe (1999). On the Adaptive Value of Some Mate Selection Strategies. Acta Biotheoretica 47 (1):29-40.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #61,790 of 1,413,453 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #67,529 of 1,413,453 )
How can I increase my downloads?