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Minimal Rationality

MIT Press (1986)

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  1. Bio-Agency and the Problem of Action.J. C. Skewes & C. A. Hooker - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):283 - 300.
    The Aristotle-Kant tradition requires that autonomous activity must originate within the self and points toward a new type of causation (different from natural efficient causation) associated with teleology. Notoriously, it has so far proven impossible to uncover a workable model of causation satisfying these requirements without an increasingly unsatisfying appeal to extra-physical elements tailor-made for the purpose. In this paper we first provide the essential reason why the standard linear model of efficient causation cannot support the required model of agency: (...)
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  • Computational Complexity of Polyadic Lifts of Generalized Quantifiers in Natural Language.Jakub Szymanik - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (3):215-250.
    We study the computational complexity of polyadic quantifiers in natural language. This type of quantification is widely used in formal semantics to model the meaning of multi-quantifier sentences. First, we show that the standard constructions that turn simple determiners into complex quantifiers, namely Boolean operations, iteration, cumulation, and resumption, are tractable. Then, we provide an insight into branching operation yielding intractable natural language multi-quantifier expressions. Next, we focus on a linguistic case study. We use computational complexity results to investigate semantic (...)
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  • Naturalistic Epistemology and Reliabilism.Alvin I. Goldman - 1994 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):301-320.
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  • Reflective Equilibrium, Analytic Epistemology and the Problem of Cognitive Diversity.Stephen Stich - 1988 - Synthese 74 (3):391-413.
  • Towards a Theory of Cognition Under a New Control Paradigm.C. A. Hooker, H. B. Penfold & R. J. Evans - 1992 - Topoi 11 (1):71-88.
  • On Charitable Translation.Daniel N. Osherson & Scott Weinstein - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (2):127 - 134.
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  • On Paradoxes and a Surprise Exam.Richard L. Kirkham - 1991 - Philosophia 21 (1-2):31-51.
  • A Critique of Information Processing Theories of Consciousness.Valerie Gray Hardcastle - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (1):89-107.
    Information processing theories in psychology give rise to executive theories of consciousness. Roughly speaking, these theories maintain that consciousness is a centralized processor that we use when processing novel or complex stimuli. The computational assumptions driving the executive theories are closely tied to the computer metaphor. However, those who take the metaphor serious — as I believe psychologists who advocate the executive theories do — end up accepting too particular a notion of a computing device. In this essay, I examine (...)
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  • One Naturalized Epistemological Argument Against Coherentist Accounts of Empirical Knowledge.David K. Henderson - 1995 - Erkenntnis 43 (2):199 - 227.
    The argument I present here is an example of the manner in which naturalizing epistemology can help address fairly traditional epistemological issues. I develop one argument against coherentist epistemologies of empirical knowledge. In doing so, I draw on BonJour (1985), for that account seems to me to indicate the direction in which any plausible coherentist account would need to be developed, at least insofar as such accounts are to conceive of justification in terms of an agent (minimally) possessing articul able (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Forgetting.Kourken Michaelian - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):399-424.
    The default view in the epistemology of forgetting is that human memory would be epistemically better if we were not so susceptible to forgetting—that forgetting is in general a cognitive vice. In this paper, I argue for the opposed view: normal human forgetting—the pattern of forgetting characteristic of cognitively normal adult human beings—approximates a virtue located at the mean between the opposed cognitive vices of forgetting too much and remembering too much. I argue, first, that, for any finite cognizer, a (...)
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  • Epistemic Justification and Psychological Realism.James E. Taylor - 1990 - Synthese 85 (2):199 - 230.
    The main thesis of this paper is that it is not possible to determine the nature of epistemic justification apart from scientific psychological investigation. I call this view the strong thesis of methodological psychologism. Two sub-theses provide the primary support for this claim. The first sub-thesis is that no account of epistemic justification is correct which requires for the possession of at least one justified belief a psychological capacity which humans do not have. That is, the correct account of epistemic (...)
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  • Artificial Explanations: The Epistemological Interpretation of Explanation in AI.Andrés Páez - 2009 - Synthese 170 (1):131-146.
    In this paper I critically examine the notion of explanation used in Artificial Intelligence in general, and in the theory of belief revision in particular. I focus on two of the best known accounts in the literature: Pagnucco’s abductive expansion functions and Gärdenfors’ counterfactual analysis. I argue that both accounts are at odds with the way in which this notion has historically been understood in philosophy. They are also at odds with the explanatory strategies used in actual scientific practice. At (...)
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  • Arguments Against the Possibility of Perfect Rationality.Richard Reiner - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (3):373-89.
    Many different arguments against the possibility of perfect rationality have appeared in the literature, and these target several different conceptions of perfect rationality. It is not clear how these different conceptions of perfect rationality are related, nor is it clear how the arguments showing their impossibility are related, and it is especially unclear what the impossibility results show when taken together. This paper gives an exposition of the different conceptions of perfect rationality, an the various sorts of argument against them; (...)
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  • The Cognitive Structure of Surprise: Looking for Basic Principles.Emiliano Lorini & Cristiano Castelfranchi - 2007 - Topoi 26 (1):133-149.
    We develop a conceptual and formal clarification of notion of surprise as a belief-based phenomenon by exploring a rich typology. Each kind of surprise is associated with a particular phase of cognitive processing and involves particular kinds of epistemic representations (representations and expectations under scrutiny, implicit beliefs, presuppositions). We define two main kinds of surprise: mismatch-based surprise and astonishment. In the central part of the paper we suggest how a formal model of surprise can be integrated with a formal model (...)
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  • Intractability and the Use of Heuristics in Psychological Explanations.Iris Rooij, Cory Wright & Todd Wareham - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):471-487.
  • A Bayesian Approach to Informal Argument Fallacies.Ulrike Hahn & Mike Oaksford - 2006 - Synthese 152 (2):207-236.
    We examine in detail three classic reasoning fallacies, that is, supposedly ``incorrect'' forms of argument. These are the so-called argumentam ad ignorantiam, the circular argument or petitio principii, and the slippery slope argument. In each case, the argument type is shown to match structurally arguments which are widely accepted. This suggests that it is not the form of the arguments as such that is problematic but rather something about the content of those examples with which they are typically justified. This (...)
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  • The Impossibility of Inverted Reasoners.Murali Ramachandran - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (4):499-502.
    An ‘inverted’ reasoner is someone who finds the inferences we find easy, inversely difficult, and those that we find difficult, inversely easy. The notion was initially introduced by Christopher Cherniak in his book, Minimal Rationality, and appealed to by Stephen Stich in The Fragmentation of Reason. While a number of difficulties have been noted about what reasoning would amount to for such a reasoner, what has not been brought out in the literature is that such a reasoner is in fact (...)
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  • Grounded Rationality: Descriptivism in Epistemic Context.Shira Elqayam - 2012 - Synthese 189 (S1):39-49.
    Normativism, the approach that judges human rationality by comparison against normative standards, has recently come under intensive criticism as unsuitable for psychological enquiry, and it has been suggested that it should be replaced with a descriptivist paradigm. My goal in this paper is to outline and defend a meta-theoretical framework of such a paradigm, grounded rationality, based on the related principles of descriptivism and (moderate) epistemic relativism. Bounded rationality takes into account universal biological and cognitive limitations on human rationality. Grounded (...)
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  • Confidence in Unwarranted Knowledge.David B. Martens - 2006 - Erkenntnis 65 (2):143 - 164.
    Epistemic minimalism affirms that mere true belief is sufficient for propositional knowledge. I construct a taxonomy of some specific forms of minimalism and locate within that taxonomy the distinct positions of various advocates of minimalism, including Alvin Goldman, Jaakko Hintikka, Crispin Sartwell, Wolfgang Lenzen, Franz von Kutschera, and others. I weigh generic minimalism against William Lycan’s objection that minimalism is incompatible with plausible principles about relations between knowledge, belief, and confidence. I argue that Lycan’s objection fails for equivocation but that (...)
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  • The Assumptions on Knowledge and Resources in Models of Rationality.Pei Wang - 2011 - International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (01):193-218.
  • Fodor on Global Cognition and Scientific Inference.Sheldon Chow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (2):157-178.
    This paper addresses the extent to which quotidian cognition is like scientific inference by focusing on Jerry Fodor's famous analogy. I specifically consider and rebut a recent attempt made by Tim Fuller and Richard Samuels to deny the usefulness of Fodor's analogy. In so doing, I reveal some subtleties of Fodor's arguments overlooked by Fuller and Samuels and others. Recognizing these subtleties provides a richer appreciation of the analogy, allowing us to gain better traction on the issue concerning the extent (...)
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  • Are We Witnessing a Revolution in Methodology of Economics? About Don Ross's Recent Book on Microexplanation'.Maurice Lagueux - 2008 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1 (1):24-55.
    The paper aims to assess whether the ideas developed by DonRoss in his recent book Economic theory and cognitive science:microexplanation, which relates neoclassical economics to recentdevelopments in cognitive science, might revolutionize the methodologyof economics. Since Ross challenges a conception of economicsassociated with what is pejoratively called “Folk psychology”, the paperdiscusses ideas of the philosopher Daniel Dennett on which thischallenge is largely based. This discussion could not avoid bearing onquestions such as the nature of consciousness, the interpretation ofontological realism, the relations (...)
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  • Rational Social and Political Polarization.Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Bennett Holman, Jiin Jung, Karen Kovaka, Anika Ranginani & William J. Berger - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2243-2267.
    Public discussions of political and social issues are often characterized by deep and persistent polarization. In social psychology, it’s standard to treat belief polarization as the product of epistemic irrationality. In contrast, we argue that the persistent disagreement that grounds political and social polarization can be produced by epistemically rational agents, when those agents have limited cognitive resources. Using an agent-based model of group deliberation, we show that groups of deliberating agents using coherence-based strategies for managing their limited resources tend (...)
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  • Reliability Theories of Justified Credence.Weng Hong Tang - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):63-94.
    Reliabilists hold that a belief is doxastically justified if and only if it is caused by a reliable process. But since such a process is one that tends to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs, reliabilism is on the face of it applicable to binary beliefs, but not to degrees of confidence or credences. For while beliefs admit of truth or falsity, the same cannot be said of credences in general. A natural question now arises: Can reliability (...)
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  • A Constitutive Account of 'Rationality Requires'.Julian Fink - 2014 - Erkenntnis (4):909-941.
    The requirements of rationality are fundamental in practical and theoretical philosophy. Nonetheless, there exists no correct account of what constitutes rational requirements. This paper attempts to provide a correct constitutive account of ‘rationality requires’. I argue that rational requirements are grounded in ‘necessary explanations of subjective incoherence’, as I shall put it. Rationality requires of you to X if and only if your rational capacities, in conjunction with the fact that you not-X, explain necessarily why you have a non-maximal degree (...)
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  • Reasons and Entailment.Bart Streumer - 2007 - Erkenntnis 66 (3):353-374.
    What is the relation between entailment and reasons for belief? In this paper, I discuss several answers to this question, and I argue that these answers all face problems. I then propose the following answer: for all propositions p1,...,pn and q, if the conjunction of p1,..., and pn entails q, then there is a reason against a person's both believing that p1,..., and that pn and believing the negation of q. I argue that this answer avoids the problems that the (...)
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  • Epistemic Virtues, Metavirtues, and Computational Complexity.Adam Morton - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):481–502.
    I argue that considerations about computational complexity show that all finite agents need characteristics like those that have been called epistemic virtues. The necessity of these virtues follows in part from the nonexistence of shortcuts, or efficient ways of finding shortcuts, to cognitively expensive routines. It follows that agents must possess the capacities – metavirtues –of developing in advance the cognitive virtues they will need when time and memory are at a premium.
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  • What is the Normative Role of Logic?Peter Milne - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):269-298.
    In making assertions one takes on commitments to the consistency of what one asserts and to the logical consequences of what one asserts. Although there is no quick link between belief and assertion, the dialectical requirements on assertion feed back into normative constraints on those beliefs that constitute one's evidence. But if we are not certain of many of our beliefs and that uncertainty is modelled in terms of probabilities, then there is at least prima facie incoherence between the normative (...)
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  • In Defence of the Doxastic Conception of Delusions.Timothy J. Bayne & Elisabeth Pacherie - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (2):163-88.
    In this paper we defend the doxastic conception of delusions against the metacognitive account developed by Greg Currie and collaborators. According to the metacognitive model, delusions are imaginings that are misidentified by their subjects as beliefs: the Capgras patient, for instance, does not believe that his wife has been replaced by a robot, instead, he merely imagines that she has, and mistakes this imagining for a belief. We argue that the metacognitive account is untenable, and that the traditional conception of (...)
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  • Problems in Epistemic Space.Jens Christian Bjerring - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic (1):1-18.
    When a proposition might be the case, for all an agent knows, we can say that the proposition is epistemically possible for the agent. In the standard possible worlds framework, we analyze modal claims using quantification over possible worlds. It is natural to expect that something similar can be done for modal claims involving epistemic possibility. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the prospects of constructing a space of worlds—epistemic space—that allows us to model what is epistemically (...)
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  • Comprehension of Simple Quantifiers: Empirical Evaluation of a Computational Model.Jakub Szymanik & Marcin Zajenkowski - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (3):521-532.
    We examine the verification of simple quantifiers in natural language from a computational model perspective. We refer to previous neuropsychological investigations of the same problem and suggest extending their experimental setting. Moreover, we give some direct empirical evidence linking computational complexity predictions with cognitive reality.<br>In the empirical study we compare time needed for understanding different types of quantifiers. We show that the computational distinction between quantifiers recognized by finite-automata and push-down automata is psychologically relevant. Our research improves upon hypothesis and (...)
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  • In Defense of Modest Probabilism.Mark Kaplan - 2010 - Synthese 176 (1):41 - 55.
    Orthodox Probabilists hold that an inquirer ought to harbor a precise degree of confidence in each hypothesis about which she is concerned. Modest Probabilism is one of a family doctrines inspired by the thought that Orthodox Probabilists are thereby demanding that an inquirer effect a precision that is often unwarranted by her evidence. The purpose of this essay is (i) to explain the particular way in which Modest Probabilism answers to this thought, and (ii) to address an alleged counterexample to (...)
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  • In Defence of Modest Doxasticism About Delusions.Lisa Bortolotti - 2012 - Neuroethics 5 (1):39-53.
    Here I reply to the main points raised by the commentators on the arguments put forward in my Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs (OUP, 2009). My response is aimed at defending a modest doxastic account of clinical delusions, and is articulated in three sections. First, I consider the view that delusions are inbetween perceptual and doxastic states, defended by Jacob Hohwy and Vivek Rajan, and the view that delusions are failed attempts at believing or not-quitebeliefs, proposed by Eric Schwitzgebel and (...)
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  • The Persistence of Cognitive Illusions.Persi Diaconis & David Freedman - 1981 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (3):333-334.
  • Impossible Worlds and Logical Omniscience: An Impossibility Result.Jens Christian Bjerring - 2013 - Synthese 190 (13):2505-2524.
    In this paper, I investigate whether we can use a world-involving framework to model the epistemic states of non-ideal agents. The standard possible-world framework falters in this respect because of a commitment to logical omniscience. A familiar attempt to overcome this problem centers around the use of impossible worlds where the truths of logic can be false. As we shall see, if we admit impossible worlds where “anything goes” in modal space, it is easy to model extremely non-ideal agents that (...)
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  • Beth Definability, Interpolation and Language Splitting.Rohit Parikh - 2011 - Synthese 179 (2):211 - 221.
    Both the Beth definability theorem and Craig's lemma (interpolation theorem from now on) deal with the issue of the entanglement of one language L1 with another language L2, that is to say, information transfer—or the lack of such transfer—between the two languages. The notion of splitting we study below looks into this issue. We briefly relate our own results in this area as well as the results of other researchers like Kourousias and Makinson, and Peppas, Chopra and Foo.Section 3 does (...)
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  • Delusions and the Background of Rationality.Lisa Bortolotti - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (2):189-208.
    I argue that some cases of delusions show the inadequacy of those theories of interpretation that rely on a necessary rationality constraint on belief ascription. In particular I challenge the view that irrational beliefs can be ascribed only against a general background of rationality. Subjects affected by delusions seem to be genuine believers and their behaviour can be successfully explained in intentional terms, but they do not meet those criteria that according to Davidson (1985a) need to be met for the (...)
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  • Simulation Theory Versus Theory Theory: A Difference Without a Difference in Explanations.David K. Henderson - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):65-93.
  • Is Individual Choice Less Problematic Than Collective Choice?: Gregory S. Kavka.Gregory S. Kavka - 1991 - Economics and Philosophy 7 (2):143-165.
    It is commonplace to suppose that the theory of individual rational choice is considerably less problematic than the theory of collective rational choice. In particular, it is often assumed by philosophers, economists, and other social scientists that an individual's choices among outcomes accurately reflect that individual's underlying preferences or values. Further, it is now well known that if an individual's choices among outcomes satisfy certain plausible axioms of rationality or consistency, that individual's choice-behavior can be interpreted as maximizing expected utility (...)
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  • What Do You Do with Misleading Evidence&Quest.Michael Veber - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217):557-569.
    Gilbert Harman has presented an argument to the effect that if S knows that p then S knows that any evidence for not-p is misleading. Therefore S is warranted in being dogmatic about anything he happens to know. I explain, and reject, Sorensen's attempt to solve the paradox via Jackson's theory of conditionals. S is not in a position to disregard evidence even when.
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  • Is There a Geography of Thought for East‐West Differences? Why or Why Not?Ho Mun Chan & Hektor K. T. Yan - 2007 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (4):383–403.
    Richard Nisbett's The Geography of Thought is one of several recent works that have highlighted purported differences in thinking patterns between East Asians and Westerners on the basis of empirical research. This has implications for teaching and for other issues such as cultural integration. Based on a framework consisting of three distinct notions of rationality, this paper argues that some of the differences alleged by Nisbett are either not real or exaggerated, and that his geography of thought fails to provide (...)
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  • Skookumchuck, Kiidk'yaas, Gibbard: Normativity, Meaning, and Idealization (Critical Notice of Allan Gibbard Meaning and Normativity).Adam Morton - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):148-161.
    I tried to tease out what Gilbert means by "normative". It isn't obvious. I conclude that assumptions about ideal agents – not just ideal in the sense of error-free but also ideal in the sense of unlimited – and assumptions about ideal placement of oneself in another person's situation, are essential to what he means. I conclude that what he says is very plausible given these assumptions, though they themselves are very problematic. Especially problematic is the idea of an unlimited (...)
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  • Inconsistency and Interpretation.Lisa Bortolotti - 2003 - Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):109-123.
    Abstract In this paper I discuss one apparent counterexample to the rationality constraint on belief ascription. The fact that there are inconsistent believers does not seem compatible with the idea that only rational creatures can be ascribed beliefs. I consider Davidson's explanation of the possibility of inconsistent believers and claim that it involves a reformulation of the rationality constraint in terms of the believers' subscription to norms of rationality. I shall argue that Davidson's strategy is partially successful, but that the (...)
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  • The Future of Human Evolution: Toward an Understanding of Possibilities.Robert W. Crosby - 1989 - World Futures 27 (1):33-51.
  • Personal and Sub‐Personal; A Difference Without a Distinction.José Luis Bermúdez - 2000 - Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):63-82.
    This paper argues that, while there is a difference between personal and sub-personal explanation, claims of autonomy should be treated with scepticism. It distinguishes between horizontal and vertical explanatory relations that might hold between facts at the personal and facts at the sub-personal level. Noting that many philosophers are prepared to accept vertical explanatory relations between the two levels, I argue for the stronger claim that, in the case of at least three central personal level phenomena, the demands of explanatory (...)
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  • Can We Interpret Irrational Behavior?Lisa Bortolotti - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):359 - 375.
    According to some theories of interpretation, it is difficult to explain and predict irrational behavior in intentional terms because irrational behavior does not support the ascription of intentional states with determinate content. In this paper I challenge this claim by offering a general diagnosis of those cases in which behavior, rational or not, resists interpretation. I argue that indeterminacy of ascription and paralysis of interpretation ensue when the interpreter lacks relevant information about the system to be interpreted and about the (...)
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  • The Interaction Between Reasoning and Decision Making: An Introduction.P. Johnson-Laird - 1993 - Cognition 49 (1-2):1-9.
  • Self-Directed Agents.Wayne David Christensen & Cliff A. Hooker - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (Supplement):19-52.
    Wayne D. Christensen and Cliff A. Hooker.
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  • A Stitchwork Quilt: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cognitive Relativism.Stuart Silvers - 1992 - Philosophical Psychology 5 (4):391 – 410.
    The work of cognitive psychologists, philosophical naturalists, post-modernists, and other such epistemic subversives conspires to endanger the well being of traditional analytic epistemology. Stephen Stich ( et tu Stich) has contributed his design for epistemology's coffin. I look hard at his proposed radical revision of epistemology. The ostensible target of Stich's analysis is the traditional enterprise of analytic epistemology. It is, however, the conceptual pillars that underpin both the traditional analytic and naturalist epistemologies that are the primary focus. It is (...)
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  • Advancing the Rationality Debate.Keith E. Stanovich & Richard F. West - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):701-717.
    In this response, we clarify several misunderstandings of the understanding/acceptance principle and defend our specific operationalization of that principle. We reiterate the importance of addressing the problem of rational task construal and we elaborate the notion of computational limitations contained in our target article. Our concept of thinking dispositions as variable intentional-level styles of epistemic and behavioral regulation is explained, as is its relation to the rationality debate. Many of the suggestions of the commentators for elaborating two-process models are easily (...)
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