Episteme 17 (3):316-330 (2020)

Sinan Dogramaci
University of Texas at Austin
This paper aims to accessibly present, and then critique, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber's recent proposals for the evolutionary function of human reasoning. I take a critical look at the main source of experimental evidence that they claim as support for their view, namely the confirmation or “myside” bias in reasoning. I object that Mercier and Sperber did not adequately argue for a claim that their case rests on, namely that it is evolutionarily advantageous for you to get other people to believe whatever you antecedently believe. And I give my own argument that this claim is false. I also critically look at their suggestion that reasoning has a justificatory function, functioning as a kind of reputation management tool. I argue this suggestion does not amount to a plausible evolutionary function.
Keywords Mercier and Sperber  function  reasoning
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2019.51
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References found in this work BETA

Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
Uniqueness and Metaepistemology.Daniel Greco & Brian Hedden - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (8):365-395.

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Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.


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