Epistemology: Five Questions
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
As a high school student, I rediscovered Hume’s problem of induction on my own. For a while, I was horrified. I thought, “We cannot know anything!” After a couple of weeks I calmed down and reasoned that there had to be something wrong with my thinking, and that led me quickly to the realization that good reasons need not be deductive, and to the discovery of defeasible reasoning. From there it was a short jump to a more general interest in how rational cognition works. I am interested in rational cognition in general. Epistemology is one constituent of rational cognition, practical cognition (rational decision making) another. Much of the work on rational cognition begins with the supposition that only ideal agents can be truly rational. Real agents have limited powers of reasoning and limited memory capacity. It is often supposed that such resource-bounded agents can only approximate rationality, and that as philosophers we should confine our attention to ideal agents. If one wishes, one can of course define “rationality” in this way, but this has never been what interested me. We come to philosophy wondering what we should believe, what we should do, and how we should go about deciding these matters. These are questions about ourselves, with all of our cognitive limitations. For example, it is often claimed that ideal agents, with unlimited cognitive powers, should believe all of the logical consequences of their beliefs. But we, as real resource-bounded agents, cannot do that, so that is not something we should do. What I want to know is how I, as a real agent, should go about deciding what to believe and what to do. Thus my topic is real rationality as opposed to ideal rationality. In the realm of practical decision making, I have explored this distinction at great length in my recent book (2006). Here I will focus on its implications for epistemology. For many years epistemology was derailed by the Gettier problem..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Christensen (2007). Does Murphy's Law Apply in Epistemology? Self-Doubt and Rational Ideals. Oxford Studies in Epistemology 2:3-31.
John Pollock (2006). Thinking About Acting: Logical Foundations for Rational Decision Making. Oxford University Press, Usa.
John L. Pollock (1999). Rational Cognition in Oscar. Agent Theories.
Reed Richter (1990). Ideal Rationality and Hand Waving. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (2):147 – 156.
John L. Pollock (2001). Evaluative Cognition. Noûs 35 (3):325–364.
John L. Pollock (2008). Irrationality and Cognition. In Quentin Smith (ed.), Epistemology: New Essays. Oxford University Press
Nicolas Bommarito (2010). Rationally Self-Ascribed Anti-Expertise. Philosophical Studies 151 (3):413-19.
Cristiano Castelfranchi, Francesca Giardini & Francesca Marzo (2006). Symposium on ''Cognition and Rationality: Part I'' Relationships Between Rational Decisions, Human Motives, and Emotions. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 5 (2):173-197.
Philip Pettit (2007). Rationality, Reasoning and Group Agency. Dialectica 61 (4):495-519.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads26 ( #117,489 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?