David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57 (2011)
Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis.
|Keywords||argumentation confirmation bias decision making dual process theory evolutionary psychology motivated reasoning reason-based choice reasoning|
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Citations of this work BETA
Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Massimo Pigliucci (2014). What Makes Weird Beliefs Thrive? The Epidemiology of Pseudoscience. Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1177-1198.
Cristina Bicchieri & Alex K. Chavez (2013). Norm Manipulation, Norm Evasion: Experimental Evidence. Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):175-198.
Kourken Michaelian (2013). The Evolution of Testimony: Receiver Vigilance, Speaker Honesty, and the Reliability of Communication. Episteme 10 (1):37-59.
Gloria Origgi (2012). Epistemic Injustice and Epistemic Trust. Social Epistemology 26 (2):221-235.
Julie Y. Huang & John A. Bargh (2014). The Selfish Goal: Autonomously Operating Motivational Structures as the Proximate Cause of Human Judgment and Behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (2):121-135.
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